Monday, January 17, 2011

The Desperate Need

Dance ends; the head is
severed, plated, served;
laughter, finally,
nervous but absence
always a danger.

The kinsman, dead.

Slip away, silence,
silence, solitude,
desperate hunger
to grasp his face,
to grasp my own.

Kinsman, dead.

They wait, desperate
with gnawing hunger
greater than bread, fish,
the food beyond
to fill the holes.

My kinsman, dead;
my Baptist, slain.

Feed my sheep.

This poem is submitted to the Warrior Poets Circle sponsored by Jason Stasyszen at Connecting to Impact. The prompt for today was Matthew 14: 13-21, the account of Jesus feeding the 5,000. What struck me as I read the passage was that it followed immediately after the murder of John the Baptist.

To see more poems based on this prompt, please visit Jason’s site.

Painting: The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes by Pedro Orrente (1580-1645); The Hermitage, St. Petersburg.


Maureen said...

"the head is / severed, plated, served" set against your stanza "They wait, desperate/ with gnawing hunger / greater than bread" creates so strong a set of images. And then that concluding line "Feed my sheep", which sets up a contrast between the violence that goes before, - and the violence of hunger (with multiple meanings) - and the waiting and following (like sheep).

Maureen said...

I meant to note that I also like the title, which can be read in more than one way.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Glynn. Fantastic! Thank you for participating. Very stirring poem.

Ryan Tate said...

You captured the setting of the mind of the people perfectly. The crowd followed Jesus...."they wait, desperate with gnawing hunger greater than bread, fish, the food beyond to fill the holes."

Love it Glynn!

Helen said...

I imagine you are right.. His cousin had to be on HIs mind at the time, yet He still administered to the people's need.

Unknown said... are good bro'

Jeanne Damoff said...

This is so powerful. Glynn, your poetry often stuns me, and to my shame, I don't always pause long enough to let you know. Thanks for distilling so much meaning into so few words then making them sing so other souls can dance. Oh, how I appreciate you!


Duane Scott said...

This is my favorite you've written. Glynn, when are you going to publish a book of poems?

I'm just asking.

Because the world needs it.

I'm linking up.