SIXTEEN OCCASIONAL POEMS

1990–2000

 

10 BIBLICAL THEMES (shuffled like dreams)

Poem: Alasdair Gray © 2005

 

Bright guileless Jesus trundles

astride toy donkey, jaunty snake on head.

 

In a jungle cave Lots randy daughters fumble

their drunken dad in bed.

 

The prodigal returns to see or become what

Seems a small stiff baby in a glass case or cot.

 

Saint Francis, elephant masked, addresses two

dangerously huge white pigeons without seeing them,

beside lines suggesting King Herod and a bamboo shoot

without necessarily being them.

 

Sebastian, much punctured, between a branchless trunk

and two people who branch like trees,

is tied to them all by very thick snakes

in an air like black and white crumbling cheese.

 

Burning bush. In a frame of eyes Moses flees

like a small boy with a mad dog at his tail.

 

Crucifixion. Jesus skips off having detached

at least one penetrating nail.

 
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