Let My People Think

Prison Break (a poem)

Death to Religion

It’s a very different experience to know the Bright Figure by name (vis-a-vis the last stanza)


Dashing hard against glass walls,
So impenetrable and thick –
It doesn’t seem like I can escape
From the self-imposed prison of standards and rules.

I look through the glass, and I see the bright sun,
The colors and smells of everyday life.
A fresh-painted bedroom, a just-printed book,
A cleanly bathed baby, playfully cooing.

A lioness teaching her cub how to hunt.
A sailboat disappearing into the sunset.
Tropical fish in blue ocean water
Greeting a scuba-diving gray-haired ole boy.

A couple taking a stroll on a deserted beach.
A picnic on a lake with friends, wine, and music.
Two friends in a bustling downtown cafe,
Puffing on cigars and talking philosophy.

But that’s all outside, beyond the thick walls
Of socially constructed tribal worldview.
It all seems so close, just stretch out and touch –
But the glass walls do not ever want to give way.

Inside it’s all dark. Like old Gothic cathedral,
Menacingly silent, abandoned, decrepit,
With desiccated spiders and decomposing rats
Solemnly rotting away into nothingness.

Once in a while I hear an organ sound
Greeting another soul, cumbersomely saved
From the world of joy and color and life
Into this dull eerie sanctuary of otherworldly hope.

With despairing soul, tears melting my face,
The scream of my heart tearing darkness to shreds,
I fell to my knees, stretching out feeble hands,
Mustering up the gall to directly address my Maker:

“Indeed have you come, oh Messiah, I pray,
To free me from evils of sin and oppression –
But only to hand me to joyless depression,
To leave me to rot in these five shades of gray?”

As soon as these words have escaped from my mouth,
I saw a bright figure appear at a distance,
The darkness and gloom fled away from His presence,
And heavenly laughter rushed into my lungs.

A breath of fresh air, a sun’s warm embrace
Caressed through my hair, kissed me on the face.
The Bright Figure reached in, and took me by hand,
And led me outside to a green fertile land.

March 2016

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