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Quo Vadis

(By ancient Christian tradition, there is a point on the Appian Way where Saint Peter, escaping from a Roman prison, met Jesus - and realised that he had to return and face martyrdom.) These summer evenings were the best! What is that colour? "Try celeste," he thought. Well anyway, a star was breaking through the colour, far beyond the pines. What lay ahead? An aromatic forest bed, in God's own open air. No more restraints (his wrists were raw still), or confinement in that stinking cell (a country boy finds prison hell). A day or two to reach the coast, then back to work. But right now, most delightful was the creeping dark, tomorrow waking with the lark, and going where whim took him. He not even once looked back to see that dreadful city. That's behind! There'll be some ship, then he can find ... Who's coming? Just a single man. Well, that's alright. Perhaps he can spare bread, or wine ... "One moment. Wait. I recognize that rolling gait. What's that he's carrying? It's The Cross." The emblem of triumph in loss. "Quo vadis, Domine?" (it came in Latin, but it's all the same: The Master understands us all). "I'm making for the Servian Wall. Two leagues are all that now remain. Then I'll be sacrificed again." And in that instant, Peter knew exactly what he had to do. They'd kill him, not a doubt, this time. Commit the callous, craven crime of having escaped? Such dereliction can only end in crucifixion. With lightness in his step, he turned. Above, the stars in heaven burned.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017

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Date: 3/5/2017 11:25:00 AM
Where to, lord? "Commit the callous, craven crime // of having escaped? Such dereliction // can only end in crucifixion." The points in our lives where we have to face our own cowardice (by lack of a better word), and look in that ugly mirror, and crouch back...Great poem, this.
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Darren White
Date: 3/5/2017 1:12:00 PM
IQ is only a measuring tool for quick wittedness (is that even a word?) indeed. I know mine is high, but in all honesty I couldn't care less. There's more to life than an IQ, and with a high IQ alone you can still make a pretty decent mess of life :D
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Darren White
Date: 3/5/2017 1:12:00 PM
But I liked this poem, and I understand what it is about. And for some reason I have that with many of your poems, a sort of click if that doesn't sound too weird.
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Michael Coy
Date: 3/5/2017 11:54:00 AM
You have an astounding ability to grasp huge concepts immediately. Personally, I have a certain skepticism towards IQ as a measuring tool --- but yours must be astronomically high!