These poems look at Lot, his choices
and his family from the perspective of
his daughter, Sughar.
Last Ladies of the Plain
I Because of Abraham....
II "...he lifted up his eyes"
III The cities of the plain
IV Don't look back
I Because of Abraham...
Into a world where might prevailed
and men brought force of will to bear
its foreign fruit, instead of peace
designed, a universe assailed
Creation's plan despite despair
in Him that sin would ever cease
confusion of His mortal joy.
As Noah had, another heard,
listened and obeyed the voice
who named Himself, I Am. "Destroy
past ties, follow, bearing this word,
'By faith shall Abram's seed rejoice'."
From Ur to Egypt, all between
Canaan heights and Haran too,
blessings accrued to him as well
as those He protected, unseen,
multiplication by flocks ensue
overflowing the land they dwell,
till, troubled by excessive blessing,
Lot contrives his extrication
from the source of his largesse.
Divestiture of stock, professing
self-governance the explanation
to himself, and Abram's distress.
II "....he lifted up his eyes"
What benefit the wealth of flocks
that multiply by two and three
to him, the steward of their care,
if he must wander mountain rocks
the whole of life and guardian be
to fleecy chains which bind him where
he would not stay? Is life not more
than silent stares at hazy scenes
of shadowed mountains' piled display?
What distant wonder would restore
forgotten joys tedium demeans,
while shepherds watch, day after day?
Like ants in line rush to and fro
from honey spill to nest and back,
the caravans traverse the Vale
of Jordan's length from Hermon's snow
to Red Sea dhow, filled bale and sack,
to trade in worlds with goods for sale,
that profits make. The risk of wits
excites a day if plans well laid,
and reaps its just reward, lures wealth
beyond the numbered flock and fits
the dream one man of means has made,
whose herds attest his trader stealth.
III The Cities of the Plain
Like jewels spaced along the belt
that beauty wears to grace her loins,
seduction her announced intent,
five cities of the plain had knelt
to worship gods of golden coins
with welcomed caravan consent.
Decadent their temperature,
in winter warm, the summer's heat,
cold Jordan's waters moderate.
Though green year long, Sodom's stature
yet second to Gomorrah's feat,
bitumen ponds her wealth made great.
Admah, Zeboiim and Zoar,
the other gems, all five unique
cities, banding one domain
upon attack. The rotten core
of greed had ruined all, to wreak
His bane til death alone remain.
Their beauty, Lot admiring far,
seduced the shepherd without sheep,
and but for pleading Abraham,
his sad, ill-fated merchant's star
would set and never rise to keep
alive his righteous virtue's sham.
IV Don't Look Back
If an angel one day speaks
direst warnings of disaster
and the sense of dread drifts down on you,
set your vision on the peaks
and accelerate the faster,
don't look back, salt statues stand in view.
Think not on houses of your friends
nor the home place from your childhood,
it's too late for people, places, things;
those pre-warned to flee its ends
can't evangelize for sainthood,
don't look back, no Mercy in the wings.
Scoundrels scrambling clutch at life,
sounding footsteps drawing closer
adrenoterror bitter on the tongue,
anxious not for child or wife,
if too slow damnation's loser,
don't look back to parley for their young.
The madness of stampeding bulls,
a child at play, compared the crush
that day cities of the plain caught fire,
sulfur's stench on well fleshed fools,
from falling brimstone's panicked rush,
don't look back, to feel Gomorrah's pyre.
A sanctuary for one day,
Zoar, before the dawning, next,
a vision warns and Lot would
with his daughters flee away,
a mountain cave poor pretext
for a haven from what stood
to be Noah's fiery world end.
Abject terror, time turned tame
when from the sky its brimstone ceased
to leave just three alive, to fend
away despair, renew the name
of Lot, his numbers be increased
till from his ancient promise come
a world of man restored. One man,
too old, too tired to care, the wine,
excess, forgetfulness....dreams drum
passion's youthfulness to stand
again, affirm new life's design....
That they were not the last alive
parading days confirmed, as well
as sons to each. Moab the first,
Ben Ammi, cousin, brother, survive
to father nations who'd retell
of Zoar's death when heaven burst.
Women of the Word
Poems From the Goober Tree http://nathoo.wustl.edu/goober_tree.htm