I have been asked to post more poetry.
I wrote this piece in March 2001 for and about a Pulitzer prize-winning author who was kind enough to take an interest in my early work. I had no way of knowing that just six months after its completion, the prophecy contained in the poem would reach a devastating fulfilment.
The piece is called:
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
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.
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.
So here at midnight’s summons,
where sunlight fears to tamper,
he turns and tosses,
and mocking, taunts his soul now
to rise again to twelfth draft eloquence
and holy grails of literary style.
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.
thus heeds he now the calling,
and trumpets with considered eloquence,
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,
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.
(c) Michael Forester
photo credit: CNN