Posted in Longreads & Essays

The Not So Wicked Bible (or the Worship of Prince Baalberith)

A MIDWEEK ESSAY

In 1611, Barker and Lucas, the royal printers in London, published what was meant to be a reprint of the King James Bible. There was one major omission. In one of the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20:14 which should have read “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” the not was omitted. The printed passage read “Thou shalt commit adultery.” Needless to say the printers got into big trouble and most copies of the Bible were destroyed.

I find the story ironic in two ways. Based on current statistics, it seems that the mistaken commandment in the Wicked Bible is the one that is being followed. Polygamy is still being practiced, only now it is done so in secretive and illicit affairs. Pornography, sex trafficking, and prostitution continue to feed insatiable lusts. The Church continues to be so obsessed with sex that other principles are not emphasized with equal importance.

Which brings me to my second point. Would there have been as big an uproar if the printers had omitted not from verse 13 so that it would have read “Thou shalt kill?” I don’t know. But for all practical purposes in this day and age we act as though the “not” does not exist.

We continue to glorify killing through incessant media broadcasts of tragedy that feed our insatiable appetite for such. We justify killing through our continuous need to be engaged in one “Holy War” after another. The two are not unrelated. For when we approve of killing in any form we create an opening for that spirit to be present in our society. The murders and violent tragedies so prevalent among us are a direct result of our justification of killing through war and other “accepted” means. There are those among us who have more compassion for the unborn than for those birthed and living.

My friends, this must not be so. Thou shalt not kill. Period. We must close the portal that allows such things to invade our society. We must defeat the Red Horseman, Prince Baalberith, and his legions.

We can do so only through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.

Originally posted October 21, 2011

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Pretty Woman

Pretty Woman isn’t as pretty as we thought.
Julia’s head was placed on another woman’s better body,
decapitated like Medusa, her face and mind and window-eyes
held aloft and then thrown away.

The woman I worship on the cover of the magazine in the
cleavage corner of the grocery store is no woman at all.
She is a computer-generated image made perfect by binary code
with no flaws or imperfections to tempt me to be human and gentle,
or my sword to lie flaccid in my hands.

October 12, 1997

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Litter

When I was a boy and our poodle Sugar was in heat,
all of the neighborhood dogs came around.
Dad kept the rifle loaded with rat shot.
Our days were filled with the howling of hounds.

But what were those canines supposed to do,
pulled by a force more powerful than a .22?

One year Sugar had her litter deep beneath the house.
Daddy cut a hole in the kitchen floor to get the bastards out.
He was a preacher with a buzz saw, the dogs were born again.
I held them close and wondered who their daddy was,
my hands warm and full of sin.

Are we men more than a little like these canines,
pulled by some pheromone-induced phantasm in our minds?

I think its time we pull the floor boards up,
lift our secrets out into the light
like Sugar’s newborn pups.

Posted in Finding Frost's Road: Encounters with the Culture

Island

Dedicated to my sisters everywhere.

island-by-kmls

I lay awake in the night, waiting.

We had talked often of this night and our love. Yesterday had been the one year anniversary of our unfortunate encounter with this place when an angry and raging sea had vomited us up onto a lonely island. The wreckage that came with us and washed up in the following days convinced us that we were indeed alone. We were too weak to bury the corpses and watched as Nature went her constant, unerring way and picked the bones meticulously clean. I marveled at her apparent lack of concern for our fate, then realized that I had done the same with regards to her in the past.

At least we had each other. The thought of someone close by kept the panic of never seeing home again from rising too high and choking the sanity from our brains. We were indeed alone, but we were alone together.

The wind and the sun toughened us; browned our skin and bleached our hair, but we refused to become barbarians. We prided ourselves in the two huts we had constructed side by side amidst the palms with wreckage, palm fronds, and whatever else we could find. We laughed at their strange, ungainly appearance at times, but they were dry and represented home for us here. We surrounded ourselves with as many things as we could make and find that reminded us of our lives before and we spent hours daydreaming together about that far away place called Civilization.

I joked often about turning our little island into a resort and pointed out to Maria where the women could lay out on the beach with their oily bodies and smooth legs glistening in the tropical sun. She never showed much enthusiasm for my imaginary resort or women and chose rather to focus on her family, life, and us. I talked of Jean and the kids too, but the dream of the resort was less painful to think about.

We had chosen to live separately out of respect for our families in the event of a quick rescue. We were pleased with our self-discipline, and yet, as the days slipped by, the hope of rescue diminished to a dull throb and love began to grow and take its place. We did not discard the bands of gold on our fingers and struggled often with our dilemma. In this time of death and despair, something had chosen to blossom within each of us. We had accepted the emergence of our love as we had accepted our fate here and rose to meet the challenge.

A soft step on the beach behind me roused me from my musings and I turned to see Maria coming down from the huts. Her hair shimmered in the moonlight and fell in golden hue around her shoulders. I raised myself to one elbow as she knelt beside me and I read her desire in her eyes and in the smell of her hair as it brushed my face. Then she was in my arms. I kissed her eyes, the curve of her neck; my lips couriers of my love and desire for her.

Tenderly, I placed my hand beneath her skirt and began to caress her leg, moving my fingers slowly up her thigh. She shuddered beneath me, in desire I thought, and I entered her.  We moved together, our bodies writhing, moaning in ecstasy. Warmth exploded from me and I swam in the sea of pleasure. I held her thus for awhile, basking in the glow of her thighs wrapped tight around me.

Maria trembled again and I opened my eyes to hers. She turned quickly away, but I had seen. I turned her face towards me, saw the tears glistening there, the speck of blood on her lip where she had bitten it in pain. Puzzled, I pulled her legs from around me and found them sticky and wet. Her legs were covered with cuts from the ankle to the thigh, ugly streaks of scarlet which dripped tiny drops of her blood. She read the question in my eyes.

“I used a piece of glass that I found on the beach,” she said. “I wanted my legs to be smooth for you.”

In a flash, I saw the resort in my mind’s eye, the rows upon rows of luscious flesh stretched out across the beach. Then the picture shattered before me in awful misery and the pieces fell down around me like Maria’s silent tears. Mine joined hers and as we wept, the moon disappeared behind dark clouds and it began to rain. We stayed huddled together on the beach and let the water wash over our bodies, two lovers lying broken on a deserted island in the sea.

Written 3/15/90 (Edited: 11/15/93)