Friday, November 28, 2014

Sign of the Cross Over the Chest--By Jacob Shaver--United States

Sign of the Cross Over the Chest

the body on the tip of his tongue
white staleness passes to the gut,
turning from having fasted all morn
to start anew, his hunger suppressed
he resolves to do better—
sign of the cross over the chest

a delicate sip from the golden chalice,
red blood flows thick,
intoxicates corporal extremities
the host now in the guest
she will sin no more—
sign of the cross over the chest

parishioners take of this plain supper
then pass through the cathedral pews
like blood flowing in their bodies
they commune together but leave alone
to do good in the world—
sign of the cross over the chest

Jacob Shaver, a Denver native and Phoenix resident, in addition to writing poetry, essays, and screenplays, is an independent editor, and a lead moderator for the Central Phoenix Writing Workshop. His collaborative participation in the art of crafting Renhai as well as his solo efforts are enlightening and fulfilling. He likens writing Renhai to playing Sudoku with words, and gives thanks to John Daleiden for introducing him to this art form.


  1. Jacob,
    Good poem. Is this a form of poetry? If so, let me know. (Just asking because of the repetition of the last lines.
    Your new friend,
    David Fox

  2. Hi Jacob,

    Thank you for sharing your poem with John in the past. It's is nice that you decided to join us with your first solo poem for Whispers. This poem is profound and speaks to how people take their faith into the world, trying to do better and do some good. Kind of sad that one would leave alone from a community. Welcome! I hope you continue to share your work here.


  3. I'd love to know more about this form, but can't find any information about it...

  4. Jacob, I knew this was yours--would have known it without your name--beautiful work!

  5. Nice poem, Jacob. I enjoyed reading it. Thank you for sharing and continued blessings!

    -MJ (