Tortured soul;

battering his storm-tossed hull

on rocks of self effacement

and coral reefs

of critical acclaim.

Watch now, as microscopic minds

seek to seize the vessel’s wheel

and steer his ship

to calmer pools, inconsequent,

where skeletal remains of once proud men o’ war

now atrophy

and drip demented lunacy

into the voracious sea

of popular fiction.

His calling is not so.

For though he too has risen,

hand in hand with Satan,

to  heights where Jordan rises,

and there to spy the kingdoms of the earth,

now offered gaudy prizes

by screen play whores and plagiaristic  pimps,

yet his soul remains and is not sold.

Though all within his flesh would sometimes yearn,

to worship recognition,

like wannabe Messiahs

to hour glass sands he yields not,

nor Jerry’s adulation

or Oprah’s chat show wolverines and hawks.

So here at midnight’s summons,

where sunlight fears to tamper,

he turns and tosses,

rests not,

and mocking, taunts his soul now

to rise again to twelfth draft eloquence

and holy grails of literary style.

So now, as virgin sunlight

casts upper east side shadows on the Park,

he bursts his banks asunder

and drenches verdant flood plains

of pure unsullied parchment,

as barbs of self-turned anger

make blood and water issue

to gush unhindered from Messiah’s side.

Exhausted, slumbering softly,

he dreams. And in his dream now,

the Prophet rises to Mount Sinai

where hidden inner voices,

inscribe upon stone tablets

the Truth that’s his and his alone to tell.

Wrenched cold from sleep by demons

that scream and won’t be silenced

of end-time revelations

and Hell’s own fury loosed upon the earth,

thus now in inspiration

this visionary takes pen

and here draws Armageddon’s battle lines

on  Macey’s cultured children

ignoring cardboard cities

while hurrying to soiries

or Broadway hack-hyped dross on opening nights.

Apocalyptic horseman,

thus heeds he now the calling,

and trumpets with considered eloquence,

the coming of the Most High,

Truth, riding milk-white steeds of hardback tomes.

And sears he now asunder

with caustic revelations

the vipers broods of pharisaic line.

One thought his mind possesses:

the Laws of Truth Incarnate

imparted unto him he must declare.

With God’s own Word possessed now,

descends he to the lowlands

of grey paved streets and bustling shopping malls.

But at the Prophet’s coming

affronted unto anger

his eyes are now alighting,

on  golden calves  of paper cover rights

and east coast movie tie ups

with t-shirt print promotions

that in the Prophet’s absence on the Mount

the people sank to worship,

in  hungering and thirsting,

as Aaron’s children will do

For Egypt’s flesh and first born smitten sons.

And at such desecration,

The angry Prophet shudders

that none will heed the Most High, Truth declared.

Thus casts he now his tablets

Inscribed by God’s own finger

before the swine. They shatter

in righteous indignation

at Mammon’s here and now supremacy.

And in his moral outrage

he makes them drink the waters,

embittered, gold polluted

who would the transient worship

above eternal Truth and ecstasy.


But yet in deep compassion

for sheep without a shepherd,

though wearied now of soul he turns again,

to Mounts of Contemplation.

and from his inner vision

shall further revelations crafted be.

Now, as the lot of prophets

was ever thus before him,

his voice cries out within the wilderness,

of lonely first draft deserts,

insomniac awakenings,

and intermittent muse-sired words of grace,

while far below his Mountain

the Temple money changers

obsessed in trading trinkets

now shriek and scramble, bartering his stock.

Michael Forester

March 2001

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