On The Edge Of Unbeing

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A Poem for the Feast of Pentecost



They don't know what comes next.

They are trembling,

assembled together for comfort,

confused, bereft, vulnerable,

exposed to hostile forces,

on the edge of unbeing.

They've nothing to bless themselves with

and their manifesto looks dumb

without a party leader.

Where are they to go from here?


It was safe in his company,

despite the witchhunt.

The suffering had a purpose.

They trusted what he was about,

dimly grasping that the 'whited sepulchre'

must be blasted to shards.

To Regain Paradise by dint of law

and the redistribution of wealth

was both illusion and travesty

that cost blood anyway.


He had come to weigh himself

in the balance,

the fulcrum of those scales

unhinged by Adam for all time,

without some Mighty Advocate

intervene with a case

of special pleading and turn the tables

on the wealth-and-muscle hungry,

those with intellectual pretensions

and stiff-necked arrogance.


But why abandon his own,

just when the tide seems

to be turning? The corporate

wounds, defiantly repairing, are now

incorporeal. His mother, the chamber

of his incarnation, the only shrine

and single point of focus, holding it

all together: they could scavenge

with their eyes of dust until eternity,

the vision fumed with nostalgia.


But hark! This rushing wind fans

embers into conflagration.

He's here! In cloistered space!

Mary's haloed head peers heavenward

and hands are linked in concord.

Atomic Courage! Immortal Inspiration!

Babel rased to debris! Love reigns!

No power on earth can quench

Shekhinah's fire! Go, tell the world

and dare to live as if...



From JERICHO ROSE, Songs from the Wilderness (collection in preparation.)