Time’s Up

Big brother, you bully, boast, and keep
aloof, gloating over sisters’ woes.

Cosmos King will cut you down to size;
none drunk with violence will survive.

Judge will strip all your nations naked;
justice will occupy every land.

Compelled to Speak Up

Earth Melter, Mountain Former, Wind Maker,
Turner of Singing to Weeping thunders,
roars, reveals The Plan to–of all people–
Farmer Amos! New Prophet Amos is
impelled to leave fig trees and sheep, propelled
from rural Judah to urban Israel.

Through Amos God sentences Israel’s foes:
divine fire on treacherous Tyre;
aggressor Damascus in ashes; death
for greedy Gaza; evil Edom doomed;
mean Moab burned, and atrocious Ammon
exiled. Same woes for Amos’ own people–
law-ignoring, idolatrous Judah.

Amos has snagged smug Israel’s attention
but now he must condemn the fatherland.
Famous men of this foremost city, hear
God’s accusation: You sell, use, abuse
children and women; you exploit, take bribes,
overcharge for basics and due process.
You whose goblets overflow with fine wines,
whose oiled skin shines, you disaster-immune
boasters, divine judgment is imminent.
Woe to you bring-me-another-drink wives!
God calls you cows, red meat to be hauled off.
You polished practicers of religion,
God cannot be mollified. Holy God
commands: Demolish your log jams and dams;
I expose your trickle-down excuses;
My justice must cascade freely for all,
My fairness torrents cannot be suppressed.
They will smash houses, devour crops, reverse
Master, forgive
begs Amos.
God relents twice, thrice? But judgment must come:
defeat; ruin; exile. Priest tries framing
prophet, tells king: Amos is turning hearts
against you; the land can’t bear all his words.
Priest tells Amos Get out! Amos persists,
preaches God’s vision: Israel as ripe fruit;
countless bodies flung everywhere! Silence!

Ages ahead after the funneling
Amos foretells constant fresh abundance–
God’s children planted, flourishing always.

Wake-up Call

Disasters multiply beyond relief;
insect hordes swarm beyond fumigation;
unrelenting drought smothers crops, strips trees.

Alarm, dread, imminent apocalypse
open every tear duct, all wailing chords.
Fast and pray! cries the unknown prophet Joel.

All meet in Holy Judgment Valley, hear
the verdict: you stole My finest treasures;
come trample the grapes, the winepress is full.

Then at last My Holy Mountain abundance:
new wine, milk and grain, full fresh water streams;
My Spirit poured on all of you, says God.

Hosea Nth Degree Poem

God tells Hosea Go marry Gomer:
love her like I love my wayward people
though violence dirties their beauty, though
lies and idols negate their devotion.

God tells Hosea Go marry a whore:
though she neglects every child she gives you,
love her like I love my shame-filled people
for whom all my compassion is aroused.

They break all bounds; bloodshed follows bloodshed;
all officials fall; none call on God;
they call all prophets fools; their sins engulf them.
The land mourns: all birds, animals, fish die.

Yet You cannot abandon Your loved ones.
You call Hosea back to husbanding:
Meet her in the desert; forgive, restore
as I betroth them to me forever.

Daniel Nth Degree Poem

New rising star in Babylon,
best-looking, healthiest,
most brilliant visionary seer–

Daniel the exile–
knelt in his room thrice
daily in praiseful prayer.

Framed by jealous middlemen
Daniel ignored the king’s ordinance,
risked his life, kept kneeling–dawn, noon and night–

knelt before the most mysterious,
utterly transcendent, all-seeing,
all-knowing, all-powerful One.

Ashamed for allowing Daniel’s framing,
sleepless while Daniel was caged with lions,
King Darius was immensely relieved

come morning, as Daniel emerged unscathed.
Darius decreed all revere the Most
High, always alive, ever-reigning One

*    *    *    *   *

Devout Daniel poured out his soul in prayer,
in fasting, in rigorous self-denial
for three weeks, mourning God’s temple’s demise.

Valiant intercessor Daniel
confessed on behalf of his exiled
unlistening people; pled divine mercy.

God unveiled for Daniel Ancient of Days,
Son of Man, Holy of Holies visions–
when Earth’s millions wake and saints rule all lands.


Ah, Sovereign Lord!

All-seeing, All-ruling One,
You showed Prophet Ezekiel
Your holy glory in wheels,
creatures covered with eyes,
phantasmagoric dreamscapes.

You foretold every wall falling–
the epitome of all earthquakes–
yet You told Ezekiel
to tell Your exiled people
Do not be terrorized; do not panic,
no matter crooks and spooks all around.

Told Your prophet
Watch closely all I show you;
tell the people all you see.

Death Valley full of human bones:
Can these bones live? Can the dead,
long gone community revive, reconnect?

Miracles ahead You said:
I will plant a tender treetop sprig
that will grow and branch, branch and grow
and bear fruit. All will know
I topple high-and-mighty ones
and raise up lowly ones
by a river no one can cross
which makes salt water fresh
giving life to all creatures,
nourishing fruit trees of all kinds
which bear every month because
my holy spirited water 
flows to all their roots.

Lament for a Bride

Stripped naked except for her necklace
made of prayer tears. Filthy, shamed, despised,
racked with sobs she shudders in the vacuum
tunnel of horrors. No relief. No rest. No comfort.
No help. God! she cries in self-disgust: Look!
Why did I turn from You? she wails.
Now I am deprived, deserted, desolate!
See me bereaved, betrayed, besieged, broken;
hear my groans for I am rejected,
trampled, punished, pursued.
Yes, you are destitute, desecrated, defiled,
mourns the prophet.

Keep on weeping, Bride of Christ.
I sit alone in silence, grieving for you.
Holy Loving One hears our prayer tears,
clothes us with new compassions every day.
We rise to praise our ever-faithful spouse.


Jeremiah Nth Degree Poem

Your Prophet 

You tell him Speak to all I send you;
say all I tell you; omit not one word.

Joy ahead: all forgiven, unending
blessing; all will know me, all respect me.

But not yet. First grief. Disasters. All birds
gone. No rain. Every branch fruitless. Homes lost.

All hopes false. No care. No understanding.
All passers-by, appalled, will scoff. 

Jere cries Why? How long? Nothing is too hard
for You, all-wise, all-mighty rain-bringer.

You send faithful secretary Baruch
and Cushite rescuer Ebed-Melech.

Jeremiah speaks Your far out promise:
From least to greatest they will all know me.