Prophet

The prophet came from Asia

Because they always do
And he was a he because

That’s pretty standard, too
So off you went to look for him

Because he would not look for your

You sought and you found him

In gardens of the orient

Sitting staring at nothing

And looking quite despondent

You asked him what was wrong
And he told you how his life went

“All revelations are much the same,

But I feel despair and presage
About the days after I’m gone

And the corruption of my message.

It’s the legacy of every prophet

Hence my saddened visage”

“But you, you are the only one

To show concern for my feelings

My kind are oft too depressed

To go about our appointed dealings

They never preach nor even speak
And hang themselves from their ceilings”

“Do you remember when we were young and funny,” he said
You confessed that you don’t
“Neither do I, but I still miss those days,
I can’t imagine a time when I won’t.”

You never told him your name
But he knows it just the same
You ask him what his own one is

But he refuses to tell you his

He says, “It’s a parable we’re in,

So history is something you can’t pin

To time or place or space or even name,

Which distract you from the flame”

“Of the messages from God to man

Which anyone could understand.
We could be then, we could be now
We could be in the future somehow”

“Are we in Jerusalem, Persia or Bombay?
It doesn’t matter, so I won’t say.”
And you recall you don’t recall
How you came to be here at all

“Some believers can only follow one

If my name is wrong, then they’ll be done

They’ll reject the words, reject them all
So nebulosity keeps them in my thrall”

And then he looked so sad and grey

You wonder why he gets that way
My words are heard just for one day
And then they always go astray

He asked, “Do you remember when this happened before,”
You confessed that you don’t
“Neither do I, but I miss those days,
I can’t imagine a time when I won’t.”

“The message,” he says, “always the same,

And I’m the one to guard the flame.

Let thoughts and words and deeds be good,

And put off wrath for brotherhood.”

“Protect the stranger in thy midst,
And don’t lash out when you are pissed
Take care of widows and orphans too
And don’t let the world pollute you”

“The blessed poor, heaven is theirs
The rich will have to use the stairs

Restore the peace among yourselves

And see the One in whom mercy dwells”

“There is no woman, there is no man,
Let all with ears try to understand.
Worship not president, nor pope nor king

For their athority doesn’t mean a thing”

“And that is all I can teach today,

I need the throng to go away.

For I am tired, and depressed too
Any more and I’ll get mad at you”

You ask, “My lord, why do you sigh?
What is it here that makes you cry?”
He looks at you, eyes full of sorrow, and says
“Watch what happens here tomorrow”

“In the meantime, Do you recall when we were in love?”
You confessed that you don’t
“Neither do I, but I miss those days,
I can’t imagine a time when I won’t.”

When morning comes you find the throng

Is really not getting along

An army of poor and another of meek

Fight an army that turns the other cheek

Then meek and poor fight one another

drawing blood over the definition of ‘brother’

The winning side celebrate with bells

And then they turn against themselves

Others make idols of stone and would

And claim the prophet said they should
They worship him, they ignore God

Ignore his inconvenient words which they find flawed

The self-appointed claim authority

To interpret the message for the majority

Who just accept this without a thought

An unsold soul can still be bought

And then these priests inspire kings

To war over the most ludicrous things

What to wear, and what to drink
How to pray and how to think

Words of salvation become ones of blood

Spilled in cataracts streaming to a flood

From a hill you watch this, shocked and awed

The Prophets words caused an affront to God

He said, “Do you remember some better world?”
You confessed that you don’t
“Neither do I, but I still miss that place,
I can’t imagine a time when I won’t.”

“God made us simple, we made ourselves complex

And that is we’re all such wrecks.

Rail against the dying of the light
But it only seems to bring on the night”

“The message is so quickly spoiled

God’s plans for us so quickly foiled

There is no devil, there’s only man

Continually railing against divine plan”

“But God keeps trying to set it right

He picks people like me to spread the light.

They shield their eyes, they look away

And garble the words in less than a day”

“But some yet do hear, so there is some hope

which keeps me from becoming a misanthrope.

All are called, but few want to be saved

Many think they’re free but remain enslaved”

“I’ve kept this up, God knows how long
For benefit of the few who don’t get it wrong

But now, disciple, my end is nigh
I didn’t mean to make you cry”

“The torch lays there, you could pick it up

You could bear the trembling cup

Too much to ask, but if you choose to

I’d bequeath the mantle of prophecy to you

And you ask “Do you remember when we were young and funny?”
He confessed that he did not.
You said, “Neither do I, but I still miss those days,
I can’t imagine a time when I will not.”

You shake your head, you walk away

Leaving him nothing left to say

In gardens of the orient

You leave him feeling despondently

He prays for you, but holds little hope

He finds a chair, he finds a rope…

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