Two Psalms for the Modern World

This week, for my Old Testament class, I wrote two psalms for the modern world, attempting to mirror the content and poetic style as closely as possible, while writing about modern issues.

The first psalm, from the genre of personal laments, is based on Psalm 51. I wondered what it would be like if your leaders, particularly those recently accused of sexual abuse would respond more like David in this psalm.

Psalm 51
A Poem of Donald, when the investigator Robert (Mueller) came to him after he had fired Comey.

1 Help me reinvent myself,
with all the self-help guidance in the world;
with all the ability to make personal changes,
do away with my faults.
2 Change all my error-filled ways
and clear my mind of all its troubles.

3 I know all too well what I’ve done wrong,
and the media won’t let me forget.
4 My misdoings are an affront to all that is good
and I’ve caused more harm than imaginable.
The low approval ratings make perfect sense;
the voters can see all my faults.
5 Really, I’ve always been like this,
taking advantage of my privilege since before I was born.

6 You want to really know what’s going on inside?
help me explore my sub conscience.
7 Show me my implicit biases,
that I might truly be ‘woke’.
8 Let us hear the rejoicing
that true racial equity brings.
9 Help me get past my own microaggressions
and all the ways I contribute to racism.

10 Help me make real, lasting changes,
and not just revert to the jerk I have always been.
11 Do not let me be ostracized,
or be isolated and alone.
12 Help me appreciate what really makes America Great,
and keep me focused on loving all people.

13 Then I can finally work with others,
and activists will show compassion as well.
14 Help me curb the violence in our country,
that people may feel safe again gathering in public.

15 Help me find the right words
to talk about what really matters.
16 For the empty political rhetoric
and failure to take action pisses you off.
17 What really matters is recognizing our own faults;
the desire to fix what we’ve broken is always needed.

18 God bless America, the way God wants it blessed;
help us feel safe and loved again.
19 Then we will say things that make you happy
and do good deeds to all people;
truly making American Great again.

The second psalm, from the genre of Torah psalms, is based on Psalm 1. It focuses on the way people interact online.

Psalm 1

1 The best online experiences
don’t come from being like everyone else,
from posting about self-serving exploits
or re-sharing outrage at others;
2 instead share gratitudes and things that are joyful
and constantly reflect on how to be kind.
3 These are the experiences
that bring many great responses
sometimes long afterwards;
they frequently comeback as good memories.
These are the posts that bring the most benefit.

4 That is not how it is for trolls;
they are rapidly unfriended.
5 Their complaints get ignored
and they get shut out of larger discussions.
6 For goodness stays with those showing kindness
but the trolls are soon forgotten.

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