An Encounter with a Burning Bush

by Jedidiah Fleming

It happened on Mt. Sinai:

An eye for an eye’ll 
Make the blind lead the blind,”
Said someone far wiser than I.

“But what if for the eye, I gave them a word?”
I questioned the Fire; quite undeterred.
“Would that, to your majesty, be more preferred?”

Given with that heat, they’ll grow only with scorn.
“Then how?” said I, growing further forlorn,
“Upon what words, then, may this wisdom be born?

For this simple poet cannot possibly conceive
The kind of words to help them believe,
While they stand behind their motes and beams!”

From the fire, I retrieved:

Only with meekness should they be fed;
Only with humility should they be led,
But stand your ground before the dead;
Allow them not, on you, to tread.”

Then the flames roared up and said:

“Look not upon their many deceits
That conceal away the only relief,
But wield this mystery with strong belief:

Upon your actions they will see
The one and only side of me.

My children, seeker, don’t you see?
In chains again; apart from me!
Reveal this truth and set them free!

But, my child, listen closely; tell them on that day:
If they wish me to speak, then I want them to obey.
There has never been another way;
It does not change from day to day.

Of the rules I have for all, I’ll sum it up with two:
Love me and love your neighbor; that alone will do.

If they’ll use this as their foundation,
I’ll give unto them my revelations.
Out of this court, we’ll cast wrath and lamentation;
We’ll wipe away, forever, this fierce damnation,
And replace it with an incorruptible, new creation.

Go now, boy; this flame’s adjourned;
Go and tell them all you’ve heard;
Teach to them what may be learned;
Speak to them what may be earned!”

Looking down, the bush was burned.
For his people, the Father yearned.
Down the mountain, the poet returned.

And still the wheel presses further on
Through the redness of the dawn.


An Encounter with a Burning Bush

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