ShilohBy Tim SheyBrutal deathdance;My eyes weep blood.Pharisees smile like vipers,They laugh and mock their venom:Blind snakes leadingThe deaf and dumb multitude.Where are my friends?The landscape is dry and desolate.They have stretched my shredded bodyOn this humiliating tree.The hands that healedAnd the feet that brought good newsThey have piercedWith their fierce hatred.The man-made whipThat opened up my backPreaches from a proper pulpit.They sit in comfort:That vacant-eyed congregation.The respected, demon-possessed reverendForks his tongueScratching itchy earsWhile Cain bludgeonsAbel into silence.My flesh in tattered piecesClots red and cold and sticksTo the rough-hewn timberThat props up my limp, vertical carcaseBetween heaven and earth.My life drips and puddlesBelow my feet,As I gaze down dizzilyOn merciless eyes and dagger teeth.The chapter-and-versed wolvesJeer and taunt me.Their sheepwool clothingIs stained black with the furious violenceOf their heart of stone.They worship me in lip service,But I confess,I never knew them(Though they are my creation).My tongue tastes like ashes:It sticks to the roof of my mouth.I am so thirsty.This famine is too much for me.The bulls of Bashan have bled me white.Papa, into your handsI commend my Spirit.EthosFebruary/March 1997Iowa State UniversityGenesis 49: 10: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”
They worship me in lip service,But I confess,I never knew them(Though they are my creation).I really liked this line. The entire poem was very striking. Vivid imagery. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing. :)
I wrote "Shiloh" in 1996. "Shiloh" was dictated to me by the Holy Ghost in three days and three nights. I would be sleeping and the Lord would wake me up and I would have to write down a few more lines. I have been inspired before when I have written something, but this is the only time in my life that something was DICTATED to me.I thought the real miracle about the whole thing was that the Lord told me to submit "Shiloh" to ETHOS Magazine--and they published it. I guess the Lord wanted certain people to read "Shiloh".I remember I was hitchhiking through Utah a few years ago and I read "Shiloh" to a young lady and she started crying. She said "Shiloh" reminded her of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ"."Shiloh" reads very much like Psalm 22.John Milton once said that "Paradise Lost" was dictated to him by the Holy Ghost. I really liked Milton's essay "A Second Defense of the English People".
Yes, I love that feeling that I am writing what has been given to me to say. I think all great inspiration comes from God, no matter the medium. God obviously wanted your poem to be published. Perhaps someone needed to read it -- and perhaps, also, it was a gift to you. :)I love John Milton, he's my greatest hero! I've read tons of his essays. What always grabs me is the extent for which he fights for God, against all odds, against a corrupt King and dogmatic religion -- and in the end, even through his blindness, he still managed to write one of the greatest epic poems in history. Amazing! I know that some scholars like to portray Milton as a dogmatic extremist, but his writings are so spiritual and inspired, I just can't agree. I can only pray that one day God will inspire me the same way. :)
I took a class on John Milton at Iowa State University in 1995. I had to write a ten-page paper on Milton, so I did some research on him.People complained that Milton's God was too harsh and too Old Testament. I countered that they weren't as intimate with the Lord as Milton, so they were pretty much on the outside looking in. God is a God of love and of judgment. Most worldly types think that God loves everybody; "He is angry with the wicked everyday." He is a holy God and He hates sin--that is why He sacrificed His Son on the Cross for the sin of the world. He is called the Lamb of God, NOT the Lamb of man.Milton spent seven months in prison because of his Christian beliefs--this was just after the crown was restored to Charles II. Milton also predicted that English would be the dominant world language--because the English were propagating the Gospel all over the world. Today half of the newspapers in the world are printed in English.There is another real good essay by Milton that was discovered, I believe, in the late 1700s. It is called "On Christian Doctrine". I thought it was very good. And, of course, "Areopagitica" is a classic on freedom of speech/the press.
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