Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Three Poem Re-Drafts

St. Michael, Defender of the Tempted

Prince of hosts! Defend us now
as battles 'round us rage;
support us in the march and fight
in warfare that we wage
against all crowns and thrones that serve
the spirit of the age!

Then fight with us by God's good grace,
all angels at your side,
and, as you cast the dragon down,
cast down oppressor's pride;
the liar walks with robes of light --
reveal his wicked lie!

Upon the name, the Holy Name,
lift up your voice to call,
and carry soldiers from the field
who, arrow-ridden, fall.
Cast back the serpent's malice cold
ere death envenom all!

You are one like unto God;
God's image are we too,
and though the prince of darkness rule,
God has His word renewed
through broken flesh and flowing blood
of Faithful One, and True.

Prince of hosts! Defend us yet
with plan and tactic sage;
enforce our blows against the foe
in warfare that we wage
against all hordes and hosts that serve
the spirit of the age!


In silent fields I walked alone,
the bitter breezes running by.
The sound of feet on earth and stone
was doomful; I did not know why.
The sun on high was sanguine red,
the rows of corn dark brown below;
they rattled, bones long dry and dead,
they withered in the bloody glow.
The sand was in the air, and, deep,
the clouds with billows dusted all.
Yea, as you sow, so shall you reap;
for poorly built is swift to fall.

The moon arose, dark orange and ill
as though it had been dipped in blood;
its silvern light with plague was filled
and poured on all a dirty flood.
No wolves were there, but wolfish howl
yet roared through cold and bitter wind
as dark yet rainless clouds did growl.
With muttered thunder day did end.
The heavens moaned in death-like sleep,
on haggard lands fell shroud and pall.
Yea, as you sow, so shall you reap;
for poorly built is swift to fall.


Ah, how it was!
A mineless age, a ploughless age,
marriage unbroken, ever-whole,
no evil deed or wish,
each in proper place, devoted,
prosperity and piety dancing together,
theft a monster in a nursery tale,
hunger an unease in a dream:
the rain is on the fields,
and always a needed rain;
the crops grow up,
and always needed crops;
the people are of good mind,
minds unruled by need.

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