An Open Letter to God

Translated from the Hebrew of Dov Ben-Zamir
by David Solway (March 2019)

Ernest, Roeland Kneepkens, 2013



Dear God


I can’t be sure that You’re there

to receive this letter

but I’m writing anyway,

just in case.

I’m writing to forgive You

for the distance You keep

from the toiling multitudes

like some reclusive billionaire

in a castle in remotest Scotland,

and to forgive You

for the cruelty of Your indifference

and also the great anger

You have been reputed to indulge—

notice that I capitalize my pronouns,

just in case.

And yet I have always admired You,

indeed, regarded You with awe and trepidation.

More than that,

I have always loved You,

not as I have loved my friends,

few and far between,

and not as I have loved my women,

many and close-packed,

for neither my friends nor my women

might have saved me

from the inevitable disaster

of my flawed, desiring self,

subject to the ruthless dominatrix of Time

and the drug lords of the Underworld,

from my excesses and addictions

which are legion.

No, God,

I have loved You as the only One

Who might forgive me

the minor devastations I have wrought

as I forgive You

the major devastations you have permitted.

Let bygones be bygones.

What’s done is done.

Let us be mutual in tautology.

But between You and me,

if You are not there

to receive this letter,

or even to dismiss it as a trivial irritation,

know this for a fact.

If You do not exist

I will never,

and I mean never,

forgive You.



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David Solway is a Canadian poet and essayist. His most recent volume of poetry, The Herb Garden, appeared in spring 2018 with Guernica Editions. A partly autobiographical prose manifesto, Reflections on Music, Poetry & Politics, was released by Shomron Press in spring 2016. A CD of his original songs, Blood Guitar and Other Tales, appeared in 2016. Solway’s current projects include work on a second CD, The Book of Love, with his pianist wife Janice Fiamengo and writing for major American political sites such as PJ Media, American Thinker and WorldNetDaily.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast