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
oppression.
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.

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