The Dragon’s Flood

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

The Seventh Trumpet, A Roundel

A roundel based on Revelation 11:15-19

At the trumpet’s call, all creatures cry,
And before their King the people fall
Living to praise nevermore to die
At the trumpet’s call.
With thanks and praise to the Lord of All:
The Almighty reigns from earth to sky–
Lifts up the meek, brings low the tall.
Before his wrath the destroyers fly.
Removing at last the veiled wall,
We behold the Holy with our eye.
At the trumpet’s call.

(c) Randy Edwards
artwork: La lumiere as lais; Apocalypse (the ‘Welles Apocalypse’)

The Seven Trumpets: The Last

The Seven Trumpets: Revelation 10:3-11-19

Part Three: The Last

The leonine roar sounds seven secret thunders
Before the world’s city shines the angel of Day
His thundering plan is shrouded in wonders
But it comes now, nothing waiting, no delay
He sends to the world his witnesses to unlock
The gospel’s great weal and woe
The city hangs these two on crosses and mocks
Till they’re raised to ascend from below
The Seventh and last sounds midst shouts and cries
The silence of rage is now stilled
The Destroyer of nations — destruction has died
Earth and heaven are ruled by one will.
The mercy seat is open to both great and small
The Holy of Holies is unveiled for all.

(c) Randy Edwards
artwork: La lumiere as lais; Apocalypse (the ‘Welles Apocalypse’)

The Seven Trumpets: The fifth and sixth

The Seven Trumpets 2: Revelation 9:1-10:3

Next blows the trumpet to open the dungeon
From its bottomless depths it calls forth
The consumers of people, Apollyon’s legion:
Locusts stinging with living death.
Now comes the Sixth, his trumpet to blow
To release the bound chaos at earth’s corners:
A mounted army, whose numbers only grow
As they sweep death across every border.
And still the world’s kingdom though ruined and torn
With each plague, (the) people pleasure in perishing,
Not heading the pain which wakens to warn–
To slumber in sin — to remain idol cherishing.
But the Angel stands over, crowned with rained glory
Sheltering the sojourners, calling out as a lion roaring.

(c) Randy Edwards

artwork: La lumiere as lais; Apocalypse (the ‘Welles Apocalypse’)

The Seven Trumpets: The First Four

Continuing in Revelation with the first of three sonnets on the Seven Trumpets.

First in a three part series
The Seven Trumpets: Revelation 8:2-13

Hurled earthward, the censer of prayer
Mingled with embers from the altar above
Traces its catapult arc into the World’s air
Over its ramparts with a furious love.
The trumpets blow–the walled kingdom to (a)waken
With heralding trials which lay open the heart
Exposing the fears and foundations shaking
And calling their resistance down from their ramparts.
The first trumpet peals setting creation to burn.
The second throws a mountain in(to) the sea.
Third, Wormwood’s bite makes waters to churn,
And the fourth darkens heaven’s panoply.
High above cries an eagle in flight
Woe to those who remain hardened at the coming of (the) night.

(c) Randy Edwards

artwork: La lumiere as lais; Apocalypse (the ‘Welles Apocalypse’)