Let’s take a break from the lighter stuff…
The Painter of Apocalypse
Arise! St John! Immortal plume in palm
Proclaim the righteous indignation
Of the Lamb
Against ungodly deeds, ungodly darkness
The Eden, once green, turned to famine’s barrenness
Take heed, O Man!
Come forth! Poor rustic fool!
But ever-filled with wisdom, from the throne
And ever shining
Discriminate the light from deadening night
Warn that injustice is discerned from right
The day’s declining!
Meekness, orphan’s sorrow
Offers no great, grand accounting for the morrow
And yet thou bleedest
The pen is thine, but judgment’s fiery sword
Is committed to thy Master
For thus we read it!
Hold firm, St John! Hold fast, amid the storm
The stones of Patmos cry out, as wounded Abel
Pleads for mercy
There is no righteous resolution of the tempest
No peaceful day has dawned upon the better
Nor the worst
I see many wondrous things I dare not name
My heart is troubled, sorrow, misery, dread contrition’s shame
And yet I know, if such truth’s vouchsafed to thee
Tis truth enow to shield e’en such as me
Hold firmly, John, and drag me from the mire
To be with thee, to cling fast to our Heavenly Master
For this, please God, e’er shall be t’sum of my desire!
O Death, Where is Thy Victory?
I shall not die before the glistening dew
On valiant memory’s hallowed blossom branch
Drips plenty, shimmering, satin as the moon
And the famished earth, tearful-trembling springs anew
With all that ever beat, and all that ever bled in torture’s myriad harmonies
As the sun’s renewal shines majestic on our sorrow
And peals of change’s comfort flutter in the breeze.
I shall not cease to speak, while Rachel’s well
Her crystal waters glimmering in the sun
Flow freely, sweetly, bitterly as honey,
Sweet as wormwood, blest as erstwhile manna
O sacred is the festival of our running!
As light undying illumines e’en that last dread vast Gehenna!
I shall not cease to reason, while the porch of Athens
However dusky, dirty, be defiled
Though tongues may cease, the mind’s immortal wheels
Reflect, resplendent, their great sire, Father Time,
O great the man, pure the woman, on whom Athena sets her seal!
How blest the dawnbreak, heart’s cry with Truth to rhyme!
A NEW POEM, OLD AS MOUNTAINS
Mighty of fate,
Whose homeland was among us,
Weak of breath and heartbeat,
Whose courage did redeem us,
O thou great unmanifest mystery of time!
Be with us still, e’en as the sun declines…
Bless us, that we may bless thee,
Comfort us, we thy healers
We soar, thou fallest, and yet thou hast risen again
Dwell among us til the day of doom,
Until the dayspring strums our famished hearts again!