the church that burns in Corinth

Greetings & salutations, my dear digital friends!

The two closing words in this week’s poem come from the Bible, specifically 1 Corinthians.

Saint Paul is warning the early-established Christian church in Corinth to tow the line.

I recall, growing up Catholic, a priest once told us this was Paul’s way of telling the locals to “cut the shit,” quit their in-fighting, and abandon their pre-Christian, pagan ways.

To walk the walk… and start acting like Jesus.

He closes with the line that all non-believers in Jesus Christ are anathema Maranatha.

1 Corinthians is the only place in the Bible where the Aramaic word Maranatha appears. Loosely expressed, it means “Come, O Lord.”

By modifying the word with anathema, the combined words suggest a sort of curse. For those non-believers in Christ, the Second Coming would punish those without faith as “hated by God.”

Some real fire and brimstone stuff, Paul.

A literal Come to Jesus moment.

Anyway, I will leave it up to you, dear digital readers, how to think about this poem. I think it can be read in several far less literal ways… and I am always eager to hear your thoughts!

Please let me know what you think and/or how the poem made you feel, in the Leave a Reply section at the bottom of this page.

-PS Conway ☘️ ☘️ ☘️

☘️ ☘️ ☘️ ☘️ ☘️

the church that burns in Corinth

we flee ‘cross the sea

to escape the church that burns

in Corinth

a modest boat bears us hence

into open water

full of unbridled potential

free from judgment

a horizon that never ends

and yet your folded letters rest

in my pocket

sear my heart my chest far worse

than arrogation’s flames

all faith in love now set to the test

an ultimatum to change

blindly behave at your behest

conform to your mandates

un-be me

to serve your whims, fulfill your needs

a church still burns in Corinth




  1. Excellent, Paddy Boy! Regarding scripture, it’s often interesting to transition from literal to figurative interpretations. I sometimes find that process makes it easier to get my arms around the message of a verse or chapter. Well done!

    1. Agreed completely, pops. I also think it’s interesting to think of the historical context of “anathema maranatha” as Paul wrote these letters maybe 20-25 years after Jesus died… very tenuous time for the faithful to get their shit together and walk the walk – otherwise the Church may have never made it past the 1st Century.

  2. Okay, deep this one … The Catholic Church tried to influence (condition) my mind and strangely it was a nun who finally allowed me to see the ‘light’, not their light!!
    I have followed a different route completely, possibly more inline with pagan beliefs of nature and the universe.
    The line …”a modest boat bears us hence into open water” speaks of today’s desperate flee from a different persecution.
    Your poetry always speaks to me in some way, maybe not as you intended but isn’t that what poetry is supposed to do. You have such a clever way with words.
    Thank you for sharing and giving us mere mortals a chance to respond.

    1. Hey, Sandie! Love your comment (as always, my friend). I’m a huge believer in “to each their own” beliefs. We all walk our own path that makes the most sense for us. Genuinely appreciate you sharing a little bit of yourself each week. And of course the kind words about my poetry – hehe! Thank you!! 🙏🏻🍷🌹✨

  3. Beautiful deep thought poem. I experienced a lot of aha and disappointment moments in my faith. Your beautiful words are suiting even when they did robe the harsh world. I believe that the Universe, light and energy complete the Jesus way, which was misunderstood. God of Love will not judge and punish, but will not recognize the people who reject and don’t know Him. That’s why they will be left behind. The scary part of God does not exist. Love does not know fear guilt anger punishment . He is not us. Of course there are dark forces we have to fight but it’s not God. Thank you for a beautiful poem. I have no problem visualize it.

  4. Attempting to escape judgment for your way of life, your actions, your bad decisions. Chasing love or God who burns in the heart in an attempt to heal you and make you whole. Both driving themes throughout much of the written word from the Bible to poetry. Your poem nicely combines these themes with strong imagery like “sear my heart my chest like arrogation’s flames.” A job well done, P.S.!

  5. This poem makes me think of a controlling relationship I felt trapped in. I literally had to drop off his key in the mailbox and run. I was the one fleeing in the little boat from the burning church of dangerous love. You taught me the word “arrogation” today so thank you Pat.

    1. Sorry on the personal count for that negative relationship, my friend! Big hugs. But that was absolutely one of intended reads of this poem… metaphorical religion, reality based bad relationship. Thanks for sharing. 🔥🙏🏻🍷🌹✨

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