By: Woodrow Odom Lucas
This poem is a poem entitled Scream Jesus which gives glory to my savior for the way in which he rescued me when I first started to experience mental illness. Enjoy!!
My brother and my sister,
My brother and my sister and my father and my mother,
My boss, my blessed manager,
My writer, my poet, my prophet, my painter, my gardener, my garbage man,
My earth, my pet, my tree, my rock, my sock, my land,
Let me tell you a story
My brother, I submitted to serve a man and found a religion,
And it was hard because there were such differences,
There were such differences, my brother, and I could see no solution,
So I got a little sour.
It was a dard hour, my brother,
And in the darkeness, I was in my parents’ basement, hearing these voices telling me to confess lying.
I was in my parents basement, and my hands looked thin and bony and pink, like the legs of a wretched widow.
Like a black widow, giving birth to the worst lie ever told.
I saw my fave, and I saw the scars of a witch,
As though I was the worst thing that ever was.
I was in a ditch, my brother, hearing voices of a foolish generation.
Burying my sanity in the shame of guilt and self-righteousness.
But brother, but mother, it wasn’t over.
With all of the force of my consciousness, I hell on to some glimmer of sanity.
Just enough to keep me drinking down a glass of dishwashing detergent or throwing myself off of a balcony.
And now, brother, I am writing this word to you listening to the JAkson Five.
I am alive, sister, and I shall live.
Oh Lord, I’m gonna live.
And it might not always be so,
For this life has very few guarantees.
This life is as bright as a cloudless ay in 100 degree summer.
This life is as dark as the suffocating cocoon of a spider’s murderous deception in the darkest rain forest.
My brother it is beautiful.
And I want you to now, when I was trapped down there.
When I was trapped down there, convinced throughout my soul that my daughter was a demon and my wife was the whore of Babylon.
When I was trapped down there convinced that I was the beast himself giving birth to the son of perdition.
There was one who was with me.
Who gave me the strength to hold on.
And daughter, that ditch might come again, for this life has few guarantees, and it is beautiful and horrific all together,
But if that ditch comes again, I promise you this I won’t remain there.
It might take a minute, it might take a lifetime, but I will make it out of that ditch.
Because brother, are you listening brother?
There is a man who is with me.
There is a man who walked this life in darkness and horror, who is with me.
And I guarantee you he will never let me stay there.
See, drunkard, see my brother drunkard on the street us trying to find some way to take away that pain deep within,
There is a man that turned water into wine so you could be happy.
See sister, hardy able to get dressed in the morning cause you can’t bare the sight of your own blessed body.
There is a man, who they called a glutton.
A man who likes to party.
A man who likes to laugh.
A man who’s risen to the 3rd dimension, partying his ass off as he comforts lepers on the street.
See my child.
Christians are great, but they don’t have all the answers.
The Bible is blessed, but it doesn’t have all the answers.
But there is a man who is risen, who likes to laugh and cry and drink Heineken.
And brother, as sure as Nat King Cole was a prophet of the most high,
As sure as John Coltraine walked the path of Jeremiah,
As sure as Charlie Parker walked the footsteps of the Buddha,
He has all the answers.
He’s down with Jesus, he’s down with scientologists, he’s down with Muslims, he’s down with Christians, he’s down with Catholics, he’s down with Hare Krishnas, he’s down with new age, he’s down with James Redfield, he’s down with social workers making plans to birth a brighter community; he’s down with George Buh being outspoken about his faith, he’s down with salesmen getting drunk on Friday’s and sharing love with each other, he’s down with Native Americans having sweat box sessions and casting out demons with the blessed spirit of mother earth; and he’s down with you.
I tell you, sister, n the street selling your body to make ends meet cause you know no other way,
I tell you brother, beating your wife and not knowing how to stop,
I tell you, sister, cheating on your husband and disrespecting your children.
I tell you he’s with you.
I tell you brother ho tried all your life to lead a righteous life but you can’t forgive our daughter for sleeping with the local gangster.
I tell you scientist who can’t believe in God because you’re trying to cure cancer ,
He’s with you.
I tell you brother, seething in a club with a gun in your hand about to kill our brother because you can’t forgive your mother,
He’s with you.
He with us.
He became us.
And he will never let us go.
So when this life starts to beat you down and the voices of accusation have you in the darkness of the spide’s web, my mother,
Keep hope and scream at the top of your lungs, “Jesus you crazy savior, it sure don’t feel like you hear me, and Christians get on my last nerve, but I believe that you’re real anyway. Now save my ass, so we can get on with it
Just scream “Jesus” brother.
Some scream “Allah” and Jesus hears them.
Some scream “Jehova” and Jesus hears them too.
And you scream what you want ‘cause he’s down with us all.
But in that dark place man, in that noose of the spiders web, you scream “Jesus.”
Cause just as sure as Nelson Mandela has walked the path of John the Baptist,
He’s real, and he’ll love you forever.
Readers of this blog, that was one of my favorite poems for so long. But the truth is that long after writing it, I actually did hit a ditch again when I had my second psychotic break in 2011. And my life once again unraveled. But I screamed Jesus and held on. And now I am the Executive Director at the Brain Injury Association of Tennessee and more functional and symptom free than I have been in a long time.
Namaste and God Bless!!! Woody