Tuesday, December 28, 2010

John on Patmos

Exile pronounced
a sardonic smile
the worst penalty
not death but worse
from the beloved
as he was once beloved
left in silence
on rocks lapped by waves
an old man aging older
in ancient silence
of barrenness of stones, of dust

Sits in a cave high
upon a hill, clinging to nothing
but faith, the faith
that had closed
the eyes of the woman
your mother, your son
when the visions start
the coal burns his lips
a drop of eternity
falls upon his forehead
the scrolls open
he sees

This poem is submitted for One Shot Wednesday sponsored by One Stop Poetry. To see other submitted poems, please visit the site. The links will be live at 4 p.n. central time today.

Painting: St. John on the Island of Patmos, by Titian (c. 1547). Samuel H. Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.


Michael said...

I really liked the a drop of eternity...pin

Neva Flores said...


S. Etole said...

some very strong imagery here ...

moondustwriter said...

would have been difficult especially knowing what his brothers had suffered. A remarkable thing to behold toward the end - a piece of the plan.

John really did suffer in his own way

Nicely penned Glynn
thanks for sharing

Moon smiles for a Wonderful 2011

Claudia said...

i have often wondered how it must have been when john got the revelation..but never thought about the loneliness..beautiful poem glynn

bumfuzzled said...

loved seeing the picture through your eyes.

hedgewitch said...

Well, that goes some way towards explaining the Revelations. Fruits of the vision quest.You paint it well, Glynn.

dustus said...

Riveting is an apt description. A reminder that banishment and social isolation may be the due for obtaining a higher knowledge.

Brian Miller said...

and perhaps the exile also became a blessing allowing him to focus on the important things...

Carrie Burtt said...

Glynn your knowledge of the Bible always flows from your beautiful and powerful poetry!

Monkey Man said...

I love words painting pictures. Great One Shot.

Don Carlo said...

Even after this great read, I do not understand Revelation--grin! But this I understand:

"...the worst penalty
not death but worse
from the beloved..."

and so John was blest with the worst, as YOU are blest with the best of writing, communication skills

karlaokala said...

The last line really affected me, "he sees" Thank you for sharing!

Brock S. Henning said...

Glynn, I was struck by the same line that Don mentioned above. Oh how it would be much better to simply die and no longer exist than to spend eternity isolated from the God who loves. As always, excellent imagery of truth.

Steve Isaak said...

I don't usually like religious works, but you artfully disguised the underlying religiousness of it, and in doing so, created something worth reading - not the usual 'love my religion or have to listen to me obliviously expound on it while you reach for your on-the-porch shotgun' work.

Solid piece, my friend.