Thursday, May 13, 2010

Can you blame me, death? For who am I to stand
apart, and turn from you --a second breath? I have not
the will to whisper, nor make light your news,
nor doubt you that your word is true.


Tim Shey said...

By Tim Shey

Brutal deathdance;
My eyes weep blood.
Pharisees smile like vipers,
They laugh and mock their venom:
Blind snakes leading
The deaf and dumb multitude.

Where are my friends?
The landscape is dry and desolate.
They have stretched my shredded body
On this humiliating tree.

The hands that healed
And the feet that brought good news
They have pierced
With their fierce hatred.

The man-made whip
That opened up my back
Preaches from a proper pulpit.
They sit in comfort:
That vacant-eyed congregation.
The respected, demon-possessed reverend
Forks his tongue
Scratching itchy ears
While Cain bludgeons
Abel into silence.

My flesh in tattered pieces
Clots red and cold and sticks
To the rough-hewn timber
That props up my limp, vertical carcase
Between heaven and earth.
My life drips and puddles
Below my feet,
As I gaze down dizzily
On merciless eyes and dagger teeth.

The chapter-and-versed wolves
Jeer and taunt me.
Their sheepwool clothing
Is stained black with the furious violence
Of 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 hands
I commend my Spirit.

February/March 1997
Iowa State University

Genesis 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.”

poetsforpeanuts said...

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. :)

Tim Shey said...

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".

poetsforpeanuts said...

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. :)

Tim Shey said...

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.