Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Prophet ( A poem)

an end is come upon the four corners of this land.
I told them it would be so
told them, with their fat bellies and dancing girls, their idols
the smell of sacrifice gagging the air at every turn

I saw it. It was shown me
what the elders do in the dark
the incense tang sour in my nostrils, the twisted avatars of their spirit lords
cavorting, horrible, absurd, around the smoke-black walls.

I told them. I tried.
In fire it was revealed to me, the voice from the flying furnace
the metallic mystery, with its four faces
coming up from the north in a great wind

and I was told to do many things,
involving hair, and grains, and tiles of clay.
all beckoning to the truth, which was stark enough,
a nation laid waste, a city destroyed,
an enraged God, who would see them punished

I said to them, you must repent,
the cherubim standing behind you say you must. Their swords are flaming,
see, the fire?

repent of what? they said. their eyes were cool, even,
even as mine were burning me, burning
and I told them, I told them, of their iniquities, so much much much
how they played the harlot with other gods and other nations
how they turned away
I said: the four-headed beast from the north told me

You are mad, they said. Like ice water, their voices
There is no beast. No fire. We will not burn, nor our city.

There is a beast. There is a fire.
There are cherubim by you now, waiting to flick your tongues with the branding iron
I am not mad. I am inspired.

I am not mad.

I cut off my hair and beard, and burned it in ceremony.

(Perhaps I am mad).

This nation will fall, and I have seen it, the coming tide.
Also what comes next. It has been whispered into my mind
and it burns.

My head is full of fire

It hurts to be invaded by the future, to see the final black flowering of sin
inside your flame-lit skull
worse, worse, to know that all your prophesying
all your making of pictures and symbols
will not stop that tide from cresting. that tide of brokenness
dispossession, blood and emptiness

Perhaps I am mad. It might be better so.
Perhaps I can hope that this is all a devilment of my own malaise
or, if not so,
that at least I will be spared watching this cursed theatre unfold
with the anguished eyes of sanity.

sigh therefore, thou son of man, with the breaking of thy loins and with bitterness

- Kathy, 20/11/13

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