Publish the Word
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Yeshua -- 13, Desert

In the beginning. . .
was the word

 The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it. Psalms 68:11

xiii In the Desert


He grew accustomed to the desert's wind-cut crags,

     its ravines rains once hollowed, endless outcrops

of red shale, granite escarpments, and sand, always


sand, needlesome, blistering midday, sifted nightly

     in waves formed, reformed, in time worn away

to elsewhere.  Shadow birds circled him hunting


a mouthful of death.  The sun was, as ever, self-

     consuming, the moon bone.  He found lizards

lost in contemplation, skeletal snakes, a wilderness


abuzz, feverish, ravenous.  After forty days feasting

     on air he was a famine of one.  The tempter -- wasn't

he always lingering near? -- offered a stone sandwich.


He wore his dust guise, an air of agitation, a swirl .

     of dervish in him.  He was ether or vapor circling,

serpentine.  In his realm, he was master, too.


Yeshua said, It is written, man does not live by bread

     alone.  As God's son, he could eat his words, if

needed, but his hungers, abated for the hour, writhed


inside him, unfed. They flew up to the temple parapet.

     The usual religious carnival was underway.  Jump,

Satan said. Let's see your angels perform.  Again Yeshua


cited his writing: Thou shall not tempt the Lord,.

     thy God. The day wore on, stark, crisp, no clouds

to break the monotonous blues. The slithery one


proffered his third offer's monumental proposal:

     all regal power from Caesar to czar for a nod

to the fallen, bright, morning star-- failed, as well.


Worship the Lord, thy God, and him only, said

     of his Father with whom he was substantially

one, though then, from the ordeal, fatigued.  Angels


came to minister.  The Holy Spirit over-brimmed

     his dry self, revivified the desert he carried

within.  Satan left to celebrate a mass murder.