the realm of human sight
Where daylight struggles with the night,
A banquet waits for guests reborn
On tables carved from twisted thorn,
Each draped in linen, soiled and torn
And monogrammed with hoof and horn
Where candles flicker with delight,
Confounding with uncertain light.
Each place is set with polished knives
For spreading strife in others’ lives,
But not a smear of shame impugns
Reflections cast in silver spoons,
While forks adorned with ancient runes
Impale the planets, stars, and moons
To pierce the trouble fate contrives
Until no faith in God survives.
Surrounding sheets of flame reveal
Bright shadows often deemed unreal–
The fire roars…
The thunder claps…
The Golden Rule abruptly snaps…
Fond memories of blessings lapse…
Old habits rise as tempting traps…
Alas! The dark cannot conceal
The entrées of this hellish meal.
Stale platitudes and tired clichés
Are heaped on tarnished serving trays,
And tongues are loosened to malign
With bitter dregs of jealous brine,
While tepid mixing bowls combine
Some half-baked truths with softened
To marinade raised hands of praise
And boil salvation as they braise.
To drown the scent of fragrant prayer,
The stench of gossip fills the air;
In candy dishes, thick with flies,
Squirm lying tongues and haughty eyes
Beside some pompous sheepskin pies
Which make men smart but seldom wise,
Then finger bowls of thick despair
Are offered as a final snare.
The wine is spilled to spoil the bread
As blazes fade on those misled
Until the light is quite diffused
Which leaves the frightened guests
With famished faiths and egos bruised…
…Yet no one prays to be excused.
Take heed! The righteous never dread
This banquet of the living dead.