BOOK EXTRACT: “Harvest Leaves and Roses” Posted on 24 Feb 03:45 , 0 comments

Song of the Prophet

I return to greeting nor notice—
as though I had never been
and am not now come.
I sing out to you
but you hear me not—
I am left to tarry as one before.
With patience I await your turn
while approaching still.

II

Have you not wondered of my station?
To where I am headed and where from?
Has it not bothered you that in
the interlude of my silence
you have wandered far from me
and I from you
and we from Him?
Or that the leaves I spread
have been left to rot
from human sloth?

III

The red-nailed merchant ascends
the stairs to my room at the promised hour.
I invite her in to the light from
which she recoils—
she cannot bear the light
nor I the darkness—
we compromise with candle fire.
I extend my hand to her
and she to mine–
the consideration passes,
the contract is inspired,
the passions enflamed.


I try to renege but she persists.
I am but a leaf in the grass
of her grazing field—
when she has done of me
she will move on as the petal hopper.
Still I await her as you Him
And He them.

IV

The collared promoter mounts
the stage to proclaim the “word”
which he has not heard—
hence it fails him—

...

V

They are still crying in the ghetto:
for the dream deferred
the promise broken
the rights denied
the check insufficient
and the thirst unquenched.
I hear them as I did before.
I speak but get no response.
As they rejected me before
the curtain fall
they turn away after the new rising–
content to hear the vulgar sounds
to which their bodies rock and roll.
They refuse my manna–
eating instead the sold soul food
that was once survival food
that fell from the master's table.

In stillness I sing anew—
awaiting them at the garden
where the rose petals reflect
the light
that they need
that He sent
that I bring.

VI

The elected voice box offers
federal funds to state departments
for municipal problems.
He speaks of human rights while
eschewing conditions that prohibit
my people from the right of humans to be.
I hear his quadrennial cries for repentance


attune my ears to his sand-built platform
and await him too at the garden.
For he seeks to become as I am–
even as he will be
when the trumpet sounds.
Still the leaves fall
at the cutting of the blades of grass
to be gathered by me for him
that he may be
that others might become.

VII

Out of the wombs of babes
come sucklings –
the clay makes clay
as the potter stumbles
through the harvest field
in search of a fleeting dream.
I call out to him to halt–
to gather the leaves about him
which will strengthen the clay.
He refuses, leaving the clay
unformed, the leaves ungathered
amidst cries for
genocide of the effects
but not the cause.
Still I await the reckoning day
when he becomes as I am
and the clay becomes potter
and we Him.

VIII

I put my money in a bank
and received interest.
I placed my faith in
things internal

and received manna.
With eyes affixed to the Revelation
I walked the troubled waters
of human discontent–
ascended the mountain from whence
came the foundation
and beheld the light that
parted the darkness.
'Twas then I found it harvest time
and humankind a slothful race.
But still I await the joining fold
to gather the leaves and petals descended
from me and mine through passing sand.

IX

Come then if you will
and will to come.
Cross that lonely bridge
between the thought and the action
the dream and the 'festation:
come my people to the harvest field
of leaves and roses
of leaves and roses.