Based on Revelation 12:15 “The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood.
From the Dragon’s mouth words pour out
In a river in which truth seems to shout:
The shameful curse and accusation
The judges legalistic condemnation
The victims raging imprecations
To drown and make you his prize.
In desperate deceit we lie and make
Excuses for self-preservation’s sake
We deflect with condescending over-simplification
To manipulate another’s expectations
Managing with half-truths our own reputation
Denying there could be any association
Between our actions and the Father of Lies.
And in these moments when we double-speak
Fearing the loss of the fame we seek
And terrified of the cost of the implication
We deny the very insinuation
Of any merit of the accusation
We call down curses and condemnations
That we have any association
With this teacher condemned to die.
It is then and there, at dawn’s first light
When the rooster’s cry breaks the silence of night
We remember our confident exaggeration
Defiant against any prognostication
That we could be tempted to any prevarication
Or withhold sincerely offered oblation
Denying our love, our chosen vocation
Merely to protect our own reputation
And we see through another’s knowing eyes.
And from this horrified, humiliated heap
A flood of tears pours out in words we weep.
Of the hasty vows we swore in the commotion
Of the sting of exposure and anger at the notion
That one could be guilty of such insincere devotion
Drowning in shame and regret and resentful emotion
No more words, no excuses, no alibis.
(c) Randy Edwards
a debt of influence owed to Malcolm Guite’s poem, “What If?” You should check it out here.
artwork: Detail of the woman and the beast spewing water into the earth, from the Welles Apocalypse, England, c. 1310, Royal MS 15 D II, f. 156r