Wednesday, June 24, 2009

On Jordan's Bank

For the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. A poem in his voice speaking the message he had for his day, and for ours:

"Come to the Living Water - to Jesus Himself - and be clean."

On Jordan's Bank

You think you're clean?
You need the water,
living water, running water, cooling water,
water falling from the skies,
rushing from the hills,
running in the riverflow,
and calling out to you.

Come to the water,
soiled and sullied by a sullied world,
fevered with a fatal plague,
thirsting with a dryness unassuaged,
so dry, so ill, unclean

Come to the water, plunge in the water,
with all your filth and your mire.
stand in the water, the pouring water,
the healing, cooling, cleansing water,
and be washed,
and be cleansed,
and healed and filled with life,
and rise from the water

Living water, running water, cooling water
water falling from the skies
rushing from the hills,
running in the riverflow,
dripping from your naked skin,
as you walk clean and changed,
healed, transformed,
a force to change the world.

------------------------------ed pacht


Fr. Steve said...

Wow. What a great poem about baptism for the Feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist. I really like the word play.

poetreader said...

Thank you.

It's not only about baptism, but also for those of us who, though baptized, tend to "dry out". The sacrament is a one-time thing, but we need to come back again and again in our minds and spirits to the Living Water. John's call to repentance is a call not to one event, but to a life of repentance. We need to be refreshed, renewed, and cleansed every day. That's why I'm so glad we have holy water at our church door. It's a reminder of just that.


Alice C. Linsley said...

Lovely poem, Ed. It refreshed my spirit.

I've been thinking a good deal about John, the Forerunner, son of the priest Zechariah. His mother was cousin to the Theotokos, who was herself daughter of the priest Joachim. Two priestly lines, like Aaron and his half-brother Korah. Where Korah disputed Moses' authority, John testified that Jesus is the Son of God, the Lamb of God.

Bp Mead said...

Very powerful - thank you for this