apocalypse poem #6–the prophet

stained sneakers scuffing sidewalks
hands stuffed in the pocket of a torn pea-coat
Daniel in bluejeans screams sermons
into frozen air. red-bearded,
handknit cap hiding long curls,
he’s a latter-day prophet promising damnation,
God-ridden to rags & sticks, eyes lit
by bigger things than the sun;
reciting the end he has read
sprayed in graffiti
in that most ancient scrawl:

Me’ne, Me’ne, Te’kel,

urgency we ignore as insanity
but Daniel knows something,
brain blasted clean  of all
but his message.  he reads it
written in constellations;
the voice of God in a book
echoed as loud as what’s roared
by the bear of the north sky–
that same prophecy
pulled by seven plowing oxen
shining brighter in their burn

than any brimstone

***the highlighted words have meaning assigned to them from the book of Daniel in the OT as:

Mene[e]: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.
27 Tekel[f]: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.
28 Peres[g]: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.

The old “handwriting on the wall.”

This is a reworking of an old, old poem I got the inspiration for before I had the maturity and teeth to write it the way it needed to be (around 1986).  You can read it here.

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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31 Responses to apocalypse poem #6–the prophet

  1. its wonderful to understand the voice of scripture ! Extremely deep in its voice ! You have such breadth! xo

  2. Sometimes I think we are mostly all a little insane. Maybe these people like Daniel do see the bigger picture. We dismiss and call them insane when, reality is, they can maybe see so much more than we do wearing our tunnel vision blinkers.
    This is an awesome write Susan.
    Huge change to your blog, Christmas decorating? lol

  3. ruleofstupid says:

    eyes lit
    by bigger things than the sun; – Stand out line for me 🙂
    Much as Picasso died poor, then everyone went ‘oh, actually it’s really good’, so we constantly dismiss our visionaries because the rest cannot understand or accept the message. Much that was madness found a new diagnosis in time – much that was sane was later seen as cruelty. The tide moves and we flow with it, little thinking of where it flows or whether we truly wish to flow with it 🙂

  4. Leo says:

    Their eyes do burn with something we can never know. I remember as a child the fear a “street preacher” could instill. Of course, I’ve also seen that inside the church I was made to attend as a child (Baptist). Between the talk of the “A” bomb and and the burning in the pit of hell, a six year old could have doubts about surviving till the next day. You did Daniel justice; I could ride around today in north Georgia and probably find him on a street corner near me. I also like the line about his eyes and “urgency we ignore as insanity” Leo

    • Aha! I too was raised Baptist and had the hell scared out of me as a child (literally!). Now that I am older, I often wonder how many times one can be “saved,” because I often repeated that prayer frantically in the pews, because what was coming (the next day, in my child’s mind) had to be avoided at all costs. The Baptists are much kinder and gentler now in my neck of the woods; only mentioning the lake of fire once per sermon…

      • Leo says:

        You all are progressive up there! I haven’t gone to church, except for funerals, in many years and, for better or worse, have felt no regrets, but I’m sure little has changed in many of the small churches in this area. I’m a firm believer in the “seperation of church and me”.

  5. mobius faith says:

    Nice new holiday blog theme. I love this poem. Seeing Daniel as some sort of street preacher is a great insight. Well done. You are totally rocking this series!

    • Terry–thank you! I am really enjoying where these are taking me…also glad you like the theme. I will take it down right after Christmas, after I strip the lights off my tree 😉

  6. unfetteredbs says:

    your elves and the apocalypse is making me giggle a little.. sorry. 🙂

  7. Pingback: apocalypse poem #7–terminus | Susan Daniels Poetry

  8. nelle says:

    Well done. What we denounce as madness might in reality be windows into our own ignorance.

  9. Pingback: Bible prophets: Daniel | The Great Tribulation is Coming

  10. The latter day and doomsday prophets, they are everywhere, in vehicles, on streets and right behind your window to wake you up at dawn. I must say that sometimes, they have a deep message for us, but I am also guided by the word of God which cautions us to be wary of false prophets, I believe we all have the gift of prophesy or some other gifts if we allow ourselves to be used by the Holy Spirit.

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