I love to write poetry. I don’t know about you, but I find it soothing to my soul.
This particular one was inspired by an old man who used to parade up and down the footpath alongside a particularly busy highway in Sydney, Australia. He walked up and down with a sandwich-board adorned with signs that read, “UFO,” “Christ is Come,” and quoting Psalms.
He was never known to speak and his eyes were a keen blue, but unfocussed. He had a long gray beard and always wore a yellow coat, not matter how hot it got. I saw him on many occasions and always felt for this solitary, silent man. I tried to imagine his life; his past, his present and what his future might hold.
I haven’t seen him for a few months. I can only assume he has at last found peace. This poem is my dedication to him. I never knew his name.
On the roadside he does stand,
this poor tortured demented man,
Warning of the end of life
for sinners and a world of strife
His placard reads,”beware the Lord.”
He comes to smite with mighty sword,
all sinners in this humble place
bringing again a state of grace.
As we look through window pane
“This man is mad, he is not sane”
He stands alone and does not speak
His placard our conscience doesn’t tweak
We think him mad and not quite there.
Little children stand and stare
at his once imposing face
all lined and gnarled and white as paste.
He believes he’s seen the lord
and only wants to spread the word
of the longed for second coming
to restore the blessed humming
of the bee and cry of bird
so the glory will be heard.
In years gone by he told the story
of the saviour and his glory.
But he was mocked and cruelly spurned
Until, at last his mind had turned.
Ranting, raving for the just
deriding all manner of lust.
At last the state in jurisdiction
placed him in an institution
drugs and shock he did endure
while they searched for a cure
for his violent verbal storm.
Until at last he did conform,
no more in fury he did rage
standing silent on the stage.
Now he stands with eyes of stone,
he watches all, but is alone.
When will he be relieved of hell,
this silent staring sentinel?