Phillipi and Targee

Phillipi and Targee

A Poem by Shelley Warner
"

A poem about a place that stands, in my life, for change

"

Phillipi and Targee in 1971

is a street corner with a little white church on a green lawn,

in Boise, Idaho,

where Crewcut Jim preaches fundamentalism

(but he is Tom’s fellow poet, friend, and mentor)

 

and  it is where Tom and I sit up late one night

taking our turn to change the irrigation flow at specified times,

and he with his guitar sings his composition,

Trials and troubles they can’t separate

Us from His love so mighty and great.

 

Phillipi and Targee in 1974

is still a street corner with a little white church

on a green lawn,

in Boise, Idaho,

when Tom and I return from ventures

in Arkansas and Washington;

 

we go to another church now

where we don’t hear fundamentalism preached,

and the church on Phillipi and Targee excommunicates us.

We choose to forgive, knowing their dogma

is like a religious mental illness.

 

Phillipi and Targee in 2003

is still a street corner with a little white church 

on a yellow lawn,

in Boise, Idaho,

when we return from undertakings

in Maine, Colorado, California, and Florida;

 

it is abandoned, its roof sagging.

We drive by one day and see Tom’s friend

Merith sitting out front on a step

we stop to say hi, Merith is short of breath

and, months later, at his funeral,

Crewcut Jim preaches fundamentalism.

 

 

Phillipi and Targee in 2015

is a street corner with an overgrown field of bushes and dead grass,

in Boise, Idaho,

across from a children’s playground park;

the little white church is gone and Tom is gone too;

 

and days after Tom’s death, 

Crewcut Jim preaches fundamentalism

on Tom’s facebook page.

When I confront him, he says

I loved Tom before you did.

His dogma is still like a religious mental illness.

 

Philipi and Targee in 2018

is still unkept and overgrown,

in Boise, Idaho,

and when I drive past, I think upon the journey

Tom and I took from state to state, pastoring churches;

and recovering from fundamentalism like Crewcut Jim's;

 

it’s been a long, long journey but worth it,

and I listen to Tom’s recording of his song

and am comforted by his words

Trials and troubles they can’t separate

Us from His love so mighty and great

 

 

 

 

 

© 2021 Shelley Warner


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Reviews

This reminds me of a couple with whom I am close friends. They basically got kicked out of their church. Rumors, ugliness on the part of the pastor. Where is God in all of that?
This is being a Christian? Preaching one thing and acting another.
I found myself really glad to see that church become merely a street corner with overgrown weeds, much like that church had become even before its demise.
j.

Posted 2 Months Ago


Shelley Warner

2 Months Ago

Thank you Jacob. Yes, the place stands for memories with my husband Tom and memories of our journey .. read more
Life came a full circle. I liked the progression of this story. How you told it. Things appear somehow softer from a distance. Separated in time. Just my take.

Posted 2 Months Ago


Shelley Warner

2 Months Ago

Thank you for reviewing. I hoped that people would like the progression of the story. Yes, things ar.. read more

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Added on July 19, 2021
Last Updated on July 19, 2021

Author

Shelley Warner
Shelley Warner

Camas, WA



About
I like to write about my life. Sounds a little narcissistic, right? But it's the challenges, the griefs, the joys, the faith struggles, and the enjoyment of nature that inspires me. I have published t.. more..

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