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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Like a Fish Out of Water (10/24/13)

TITLE: Teaching a Soon Great Philosopher
By Don V. Standeford
10/30/13


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For Polycarp I will make the fire feel as cold
As the spear that soon will lay him low,
But each step
Will be a strain
For you.

If Polycarp were born in the now
To watch the Sanhedrin fry
In Olivet oil
He would just laugh and tug at the hem
That has brought
To these hypocrites
Such turmoil –

I am the source of their discontent –

I saw you too
When you were too
Young
As I spoke kind words to my flock by the sea
Then, “thump thump slap!”
On the dock
I cut you
Free, fish free!

Out of your stream;
You’re like a fish out of water.

When you went to the High Priest
To gather letters to Damascus’ synagogues
You swore,
Threatened to murder all
Ironically --

You preached in the same synagogues
That earlier you fought to purge

II
Many stripes will scar your back, but many
Will be the miracles I do through you
You must still speak
Not hold your voice
No unneeded heartache will I allow
Despite the heartaches
You must
Endure

I have never tried to comprehend evil;
I comprehend evil
Absolutely.
It has a deep affection for innocence
But it hides in fear of purity, fish

Out of your stream

Let the humble say:


III
Though I am broken, deprived and mourning
Lord, comfort me, for I am lowly
Bless my hunger; fill me up

But give me thirst to do your will

Let me touch compassion
And mercy
Hold forth my hand
And help me to give

Sift me into your purity;
I want to live
As near to your peace as a child
Who bubbles through her persecutions
Makes the tame
Look wild

IV
You need to take all this in,
Soon my servant
To see possibilities,
Such as –

What if Pilate had washed his hands
In a laver filled with my cleansing blood?
That basin would rival
A certain chalice
Instead of the curse, hope would fill it

In knowing what is possible,
I teach you to
Follow me with an expectant
Mind

So what if Pilate had deflected his curse
While the Pharisees vowed to make theirs worse?
Or what if like you
They humbly came toward me
Could I accept them en-mass
As one life?
I do understand them –

They understand me not,
So far they are
From their spawning
Streams
But that same voice runs around
In my mind
And makes it all worth it:

V
Lord I’m broken, break me still
Bless me with a hunger for your fire filled
Lift me up for I am lowly
But let me thirst,
Thirst for you still

(These words I hear make the pain worthwhile)

I cling to you by your mercies Lord
Your mercies are all I have to give, but give
I will

Of your purity, if you give it to me
And strengthen me
In my persecutions
Cover me with your
Love.

VI
Seeing, you arose to destroy me
In Syria

Blind, they led you into Damascus
To know defeat

Three days without sight,
You did not eat
You did not drink; soon you were
Ready

To be humble, told where to go,
What to do.

They led you to the straight
Street
And by the time the scales fell
From your eyes

What you saw you loved

I will show you how much you must
Suffer
And into what dungeons you must be
Led

But you must know who I am,
What I said

VII
Three days I lay within the hollowed rock
My body rested in the weak shell of a man
Three days of all eternity bound

Then a stirring of the spirit brought me
Around
Like shock quick

And a bursting sound

They had said if I forced myself from the cross
They’d believe,
But still they mock my deeds

Why must you know this?
You must realize
How dark dark is deep
The pit
That holds hostage their immortal souls
Being younger
You’ve not bled
Their black vile
Being older
You’ve not seen what
The innocent know

Many who slept in the earth that day
Arose, urged to go to Jerusalem
To confront --
Those too proud
To admit
That they are like fish

Out of the water

Share my blood with sinners,
My body
With those wanting good health,
Long life


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This article has been read 173 times
Member Comments
Member Date
CD Swanson 11/04/13
WOW!

God bless~
Yvonne Blake 11/05/13
There is soooo much here!
I read it twice because I couldn't grasp it all the first time. I could probably see more by reading it again.
Great writing!
CD Swanson 11/07/13
Congratulations! God Bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/08/13
Congratulations on placing 3rd in your level and 12 overall! (the highest rankings can be found on the message boards)