Thursday, March 12, 2015

Poem - Temple Incident 8-1

Temple Incident 8-1
O. Kris Widmer
John 8:1-11

The passersby and bystanders in the streets
that normally stand aside or look down
when holy men walk by were surprised to hear
the giddy chuckles of the cloth clad clerics
as they mobbed their way towards the city square.

Their trap had been baited - live bait.

female face
naked neck
buxom breasts
amorous arms
lewd loins
philanderous feet

“caught in the very act.”

Those not holding her already held rocks
“borrowed” from the landscaped yards
they had passed in this dawns early light.
“It don’t matter what He says.
I says we stone her anyway!”
One of them yelled with a fist in the air
his voice, modified by the doppler effect.

They dragged her along with them; Exibit A
clutching to her bosom and body
a pillow and a sheet from off -
how did one call it? -
“The Serta of Certain Sin.”
“The Temperpedic of the Tempter’s Edict”

They knew where He would be, their real target.
(She was just a means to a mean end.)
He’d be “teaching” (so his disciples called it)
telling stories about lost sheep or wedding banquets
or “The Kingdom”…what ever that was.

Yes…There He Was!

“ ‘Teacher’ ”, one of them said, using his outside voice
[making quote marks in the air with his fingers]
“this ‘woman’ [more quote marks] was caught
in the very act of adultery. [points at her lewd loins]
Moses’s law commands us to stone such a ‘woman.’ 
[quote marks, again]  It is needless for us to bring her here.
But…we wanted know what you, the ‘Teacher’,
[quote marks] would say to do today?

The Teacher said nothing.

He bent down, ignoring them and ignoring her,
writing in the good God’s grit that dusted 
the dark tiles beneath his feet.
It started to become quite a list.
He finished one column, repositioned
and started another, writing from right to left.

He paused, stood up and spoke, using his outside voice.
 “I’m making a list of all your names and all your sins
If you name is not on this list, you may throw a stone.”
Then He stooped down again and kept writing.

Elder ______
Dr. _______
Mr. _______
______ PhD
_______ Esq.

Then was heard - cricket and bird,
amid gulping gasps and dropping rocks
and the click-clack polished dress sandals
make when they run quickly away.

Shortly, there was no one left but the chief cornerstone of faith.
 [this time spoken without satiric quotation marks]
where are the men who would condemn you?  
Where are they who would vote against you?

She peeked up and out from behind her pillow.
“There is no one here, good Sir!”

“My name is not on this list, Ma’am.
But I would never condemn you either.
Go now…and leave your life of sin.”

In this morning game of loins, rocks and finger,
Needless to say…finger won.


Based on a poetry prompt from “Three Word Wednesday”, an online poetry prompt blog.

The three required words are:  Giddy, Lewd and Needless

Giddy, adjective: having a sensation of whirling and a tendency to fall or stagger; dizzy, disorienting and alarming, but exciting; excitable and frivolous; verb: make (someone) feel excited to the point of disorientation.

Lewd, adjective: crude and offensive in a sexual way.

Needless, adjective: (of something bad) unnecessary; avoidable.

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