John the Baptist

John the Baptist

There’s John in camel bristles,
about his loins a skin.
For breakfast locusts sizzle
while honey drizzles in.
In morning light he stands,
at the Jordan he plans
with his God a day:
they’ll pull them back who’ve gone astray!
Now repent, O human kind
of your greedy, meat-hook mind!
For God in all His glory
will fold His world in heaven at the close of history.

A voice crying in the wilds
is heard by Israel.
Disciples walk for miles
to peel the mortal shell.
Jesus, too, of Nazareth born
comes to learn from John a spell.
Jesus dipped with John;
And both men brimmed with scorn
for all this worldly con.
Now repent, O human kind!
of your greedy, gimme mind!
For our God comes tomorrow
or today he takes our souls, and all that they had borrowed.

While Jesus visits villages
across this desert land,
John still rails in wilderness.
Per both, the end’s at hand.
Flavius Josephus maintains
that at Macherus John was detained
and at Macherus by Herod’s fear was slain.
The Gospels record Herod’s despair,
seeing in Jesus John’s ghost —
not merely rival, friend, and/or heir.
I know little here. The most
I can hope to claim
is they’re not the same —
for John was a voice crying in the wilderness,
eating locusts, wearing camel’s hair
but Jesus went from town to town dressed
and eating like the rest of them there —
preaching the same repentance
at the same end of the world
but tweaking his deliverance
so that age upon age was stirred
into a solemn blinking —
and even at times real thinking.

John died and his disciples mourned him.

Copyright: AMW

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