These poems pertain to 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
V...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, preferring peace
abjured, 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
and willingly obeyed the voice
who named Himself, I Am. "Destroy
past ties, prepare to speak this word,
'By faith shall Abram's seed rejoice'."
From Ur to Egypt, graced between
Chaldean dream and Mamre's yew,
to all His weal ensued, no well
was dry, no famine fell unseen.
He multiplied, new flocks accrue
to overflow the lands they dwell.
Excess became a troubling blessing,
Lot contriving extrication
from the source of his largesse,
"We must divide the land." Stressing
freedom seemed a justification
of himself, to Abraham'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
diminished joys ennui demeans
in shepherds' scenes, 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 a belt
that beauty wears to grace her loins,
seduction an announced intent,
five cities of the plain had knelt
to worship gods of golden coins,
with welcomed caravan consent.
Near decadent their temperature,
the winter warm, in summer's heat
cold Jordan waters moderate.
Though green year long, Sodom's stature
was second to Gomorrah's feat
of wealth bitumen ponds inflate.
Admah, Zeboiim and Zoar
the other gems, all five unique
cities banding as one domain,
upon attack. The rotten core
of greed had ruined all who'd wreak
His bane which life cannot contain.
One city, tempting Lot afar,
seduced the shepherd from his sheep,
and but for pleading Abraham,
this sad ill-fated merchant's star
had set, never rising to keep
alive his righteous virtue's sham.
Lurid Sodom's vanished mirage
of storied wealth and fame, became
to Lot a recurring vision,
fool's gold, a glittering collage
of lust's licentiousness and shame
abasing moral decision.
His purchased judgeship affected
few in a land where money spoke
too well, muted justice and urged
the right of might. Men collected
to prey until the weakest broke
as greed to loathsome limits surged.
Behind the guarded walls at night,
three unknown visitors announced
that Lot with family must flee
and not look back upon their plight.
Fire would consume what God renounced
and nought be spared for anguished plea.
From those he tried to warn, disdain
the paid reward, shouting attempts
at ridicule's deadly derision,
"How dare the wealthy come for gain,
then preach the fire to fall exempts
no man's ignoring the moral decision?"
V Don't Look Back
Should stern celestial angels speak
direst warnings of disaster
and the sense of dread drifts down on you,
set your sight on the mountain peak
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;
no one pre-warned to flee its ends,
can evangelize for sainthood,
don't look back for Mercy's taken wings.
The scrambling scoundrels clutch at life,
sounding footsteps drawing closer
an adrenoterror bites their tongue,
anxious not for child or wife,
those too slow damnation's loser,
don't look back to parley for their young.
The madness of stampeding bulls,
mere calvess at play, compared the crush
as cities of the Vale explode with fire;
sulfur's stench found well fleshed fools
for fallen brimstone flowed like slush...
don't look back to mourn Gomorrah's pyre.
The last, Zoar, haven one day...
before the dawning of the next,
a vision warned it was for good
that Lot and daughters rush away,
and seek a mountain cave's pretext
of sanctuary from what stood
to be creation's fiery end.
Anxious terror time turned tame
when from the sky its brimstone ceased,
with three, alone, alive to fend
despair away. "Review the name
of Lot, whose numbers death decreased!"
Could from his ancient promise come
a world of man restored? One man,
too old, too tired to care, the wine,
excess, forgetfulness....dreams drum
for 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,
and brother Ben Ammi survive
to father nations who'd retell
of Jordan's Vale when heaven burst.
Women of the Word
Poems From the Goober Tree http://nathoo.wustl.edu/goober_tree.htm
[This message has been edited by H. Arlequin (edited 04-10-2000).]