[oasis][stories]

Religious Awakening

By Maury J. Kurzman

I dreamed the strangest dream last night as in my bed I lay.
I saw a man emitting light, His hair a radiant gray.
His left hand held a bulbous eye, His right a blinding sword.
And though I cannot say quite why, I knew He was the Lord.
To see his joyous, beaming face, as ageless as the moon--
It filled me with suffusing warmth, like picnicking in June.
(But I had a faint suspicion that this man might be a loon.)

He said to me, "Come forward, youth. Approach and let me gaze
Upon your face, for by my troth, it's been too many days
Since last a mortal graced this land and talked with Me a night.
You must have lots of questions, and I hope to shed some light.
For instance, friend, I doubt you know Stravinsky's date of birth,
Or just how long it takes a dog to amble 'round the Earth,
And what is meant by 'wubblemug', 'difribulate', and 'verth'."

"Uh, God?" I said, (And here He bade me call Him Mr. G.)
"I think perhaps you may have made a gaff concerning me.
I mean no disrespect, of course, but why would I seek those?
But can you tell the cause of force, or why the cosmos grows?
I also wonder if you know, and if you could reveal
What causes all of man's perceptions-- what determines 'real'
And also, I would like to know the cause of sex appeal."

He laughed-- a raucous, rumbling, sound and spoke to me again:
"Why these are matters most profound-- Too hard to comprehend
By simple mortals, lacking sense. But do as I have bade.
Ask of verbs, and of their tense, or ask how bread is made.
If you like, I'll tell you why stalagmites won't point down,
Or whether cats should be declawed, or what makes leaves turn brown.
I'll even tell the bestest way to make a wedding gown."

Now, Mr. G., what's wrong with you?!," I scolded Him in spite.
"Please answer straight and answer true-- I haven't got all night!
I have a single question that I know You can explain:
(I'm not concerned with care of cat, or length of wedding train)
Of all the many different cults that flourish 'neath the sun,
Which of these is really right-- the truest, clearest one?
If you haven't got an answer, then our tete-a-tete- is done."

He thought a while, his brow gone taut-- I had him stumped, I feared,
He paced a time, then sat and thought and stroked his flowing beard.
At length he spoke these very words that here I write for you:
"I wonder if the little birds be Catholic or Jew,
Or Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Shinto, Protestant or what?
Whate'er those birds are into, man, I like their style a lot.
They feed their young and sing all day, and work when ought needs doing,
They've lots of time left o'er for play, and ample time for scr... cooing.
Like me, they spend their lives admiring all that's in their sight.
Excepting one small, tiny, thing-- one bit they'd change a mite:
They ask next time I do without that pesky Christian right."

I laughed with God at his reply, I laughed for hours on end,
I laughed and had no room to cry-- such wisdom from my friend!
I would have asked another turn, to glean more astral knowledge,
(This seemed a quicker way to learn than wasting time at college)
But then I knew a certainty that stopped me ere I spoke.
I'll write it down, but promise not to view it as a joke:

There's nothing else to learn from God.

And that's when I awoke.


Maury J. Kurzman, formerly K. Morris Kurzman, formerly Keith Kurzman, who is happily suffering from the delusion that changing his name every few days will have some lasting change on his personality, can be reached at dkurzman@mcs.net. Also, he reluctantly turns 19 on August 21st, so be sure to wish him a happy birthday, or an ancient Sicilian curse will fall on your house. Either that or your house will fall on an ancient, cursing Sicilian. I forget which.
©1996 Oasis Magazine. All Rights Reserved.