Thursday, September 20, 2012

New Wine Skins

What stranger appears before my door?
His hair all matted, his face doth abhor
The very ground he walks upon with a scowl;
For wrapped around his waist is a towel.
Yet seeing me behind the screen of life
He ventures a smile, of pain and strife;
For who could manage any more than this
When from them life was robbed of bliss?
Yet I am apprehensive at best, for sure;
My stomach lurching, I seek to procure
The reason for this strange visitation;
Praying that he be not some consternation
That seeks a place to lie his head;
For such a thought fills me with dread.
But I open the door, a grimace begins
To dawn upon my face so that it swims
With wrinkles, and so is dotted with pain;
A pain within me that reflects his refrain.
So there we sit, speaking without words;
He begging for shelter, I saying absurd!
Are you to come here, to me?
I wish he would drown in a raging sea!
And it doth show now that we understand each other;
That I despise him, and that he reveres me as a brother.
Yet neither of us move, neither of us speak.
To embarrassed now is he, and far to weak
From his condition, the lack of good inside;
And I to angry, to full of myself, with pride
Do administer a deeper scowl than he.
I pray God be not watching, that Trinity.

While we did stare upon the ground,
Without a word, and without a sound,
Some neighboring boys came walking by;
Their noisome attire did provoke a sigh
Of frustration, of annoyance most great;
And now I do consider how full I am with hate.
They did shout out, when they saw this man,
This half naked scarecrow, and whispered a plan
Between one another. Smiles did begin to brim;
Not the smile of love, but the smile of sin.
But took no note of them did the old man,
For his face was to the ground; as a van
Guard to his defeat was his humility,
Stepping backward, off the porch, into a sea
Of foolish taunts and shouts and boyish chants
That made him seem no better than ants
That have been squished underneath one's shoe;
Now the anger inside of me begins to brew.
Then suddenly I see anew this poor old man,
I see that they, these boys, did so plan
In their minds what I would have done;
To have admonished this beggar then run
Away! Taking his towel as well!
I see it in my mind, a tortuous hell.
This indeed is what happened, and damper still was he;
The old man who now was stripped of his towel. Did flee
The boys up the street with great amusement and glee,
While he fell to the floor and implored the Holy Trinity.
Then shame uncalled for came into my heart,
And a dreadful calling did upon me impart
A command, which in obedience I heard.
I walked down the porch and spoke the first word.

Come into my house dear sir, please forgive!
Do not look upon my inhumanity, please live
With me for a while until you have grown
Well enough; indeed such men have flown
That accept charity even after scorned;
They understand the dignity adorned
Within their bodies, their very soul.
So do I recognize, and relinquish control
Of all such pride you saw in me before.
Please, come, enter through my door!
Inside you'll find clothes, a warm bed, and more;
A drink I think, and some food are in store.
Please enter, dear friend, excuse my bid
To win for myself nothing; for I hid
Inside myself like a mongrel pup that's lost
Inside of some tortuous maze, and it has cost
Me more than I realized. Enter my friend,
Come in for a time, my pride do mend.

And looking up at me he said with a smile,
Thank you my boy, I will only stay a while.
I'll pay you back in ways unknown, by one
Who cannot be but generous, will not be outdone.
My master is the same as yours I think,
And so I accept your offer to a drink.
What's more I offer you what I have,
Words mostly, but with these you may lave
Yourself with divine inspiration;
Few have this in all the nation.
I come to you as I am, and I give
Whatever is needed so that I may live.

Then entered he did, into my home.
Up the porch steps, past the lawn gnome.
His scowl replaced by a wide beaming brim
As wide as a cowboy hat, his face did swim
In a light as bright as the sun in the sky;
Such a light did inspire me, though I know not why.

And he has lived with me to this day.
And many others as well, they do pay
Well for their room and board, more than some;
And I avoid a great deal of conundrum
As they work with their skills to repair my house.
Strange it may seem, that I, a great big louse
who wouldn't give in for the world, a souse
Who drinks at night to ease his pain
Would allow such a man onto my plain
Of dignity, and prestige. But I was a fool,
A mere shadow of what I could be, a tool
That was broken in the hand, could not see
How very welcome this man could be,
Until I saw the result of an action,
The result of passion's satisfaction.
And through the sight of another's mistake
I learned to reform, to fix the stage, to rake
It up so as to climb higher still
Into the grace of God, to unite my will
To the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords,
To place my heart within the treasure hoards
Of the everlasting King, God, man divine.
And now he resides with me, he is my wine.

New Wine-skins, (c) Luke Bennette

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