God by Example

And I remember
The feeling of carpet beneath my knees, in a world
Defined by floors,
And a stairway
Which I could not climb
To the home of the gods...

Daddy was an angry god, with the scripture of the rod
Teach - by example.
Mommy was the tender one, the quiet one until she burst,
Preaching lessons of denial, teaching hunger, teaching thirst
By example.

Sport the rod and spank the child,
And tell the young ones how much wild wrath
Awaits the one
Who steps out of line,
By example.

And I remember
Standing at the tracks,
Watching the train approaching.
With a thunder and a scream, and ten thousand tons
Of angry iron,
Waiting to crush me beneath its wheels.
I was saved because I ran,
And punished because I ran.

Face the train or face the scorn
And tell the young ones they'll be torn apart
With all the others
Who run away,
By example.

And I remember
Kneeling at the altar,
Waiting for God to take me.
With his body in my belly, and a psalm upon my lips,
And the pages of a book well-traveled by my fingertips,
I waited...
...and no one came.

Want it harder, need it more,
Run to the retreating door,
Why the hollow heart, dear boy,
When all of us are full of joy?

Chase the light or face the fire,
And tell the young ones how much ire eternal
Awaits the one
Who stops to think...

Lie prostrate!
The eternal mandate,
Waiting on a vision of divinity incarnate.
Let your soul assimilate
An agonizing death to blame on anyone we hate.
Learn by example,
Have an example,
Will another million maybe give you a sample?
Teach by example,
Make an example,
Feed the machine, kill the obscene, wash yourself clean
In the blood of the odd,
Put the sinner beneath the sod
As an example of
Your love...

Now I remember
Standing on this bridge for such a long while,
Gazing at the current down below.
Wondering, if any god is watching,
Would he even crack a smile
If I




-scb 1998