Genesis in Free Verse

Posted by Jesse

This is an ongoing series of poems centering around the book of Genesis. I began it several years ago, and still on occasion attempt to add a poem to it. I have so far made it up to Jacob's betrayal of Isaac and Esau, and am currently working on a poem about Rachel and Leah's marriage to Jacob. I have several more poems to write before the account is complete.

I began posting this series on my personal blog when I first started writing it, but they were lost in the Blogpocalypse of '07 (otherwise known as That Foolish Day I Accidentally Deleted My Blog). So I'll officially kick of this community by posting the first in this series: "Spoken." I consider it the strongest of the pieces, and ironically, it's not really in free verse, since it employs some structure. I welcome any comments or suggestions on the piece.

Command: it flames out into burning,

The formless void knows nothing

Like this brightness, light: separate

From the blackness.


Command: it splits the waters – a horizontal

Slash, expanse of air and vapor

Miles between. Water above, water beneath.


Command: the sea boils, bubbles, soil

Protrudes, sprouts green

Shoot from earth, trunks twist, gyrate, birth

Branches, blossoms, fruit.


Command: it explodes in furious gases, burning

Hot, shining forth fire – rocks

Orbit them, shining their light back

In stony, elliptical obeisance.


Command: it flutters feathers against the sky, the sea

Sparkles with scaly luminescence – they rest

On branch and under bank,

Singing and swimming.


Command: it bursts into a cacophony of

Cries, a chorus of bestial jubilance –

Beasts of field and forest frolic

On unspoiled meadows.


Hand: it reaches from heaven, scoops

The soil, spits, mixes –

It forms shoulders, head, then

Limbs, then, into nostrils:

Breathe Life.

Command: it proclaims exultant

Success, pride, ecstasy in the product

Of its voice – then, beaming,