The Bible and Culture

The Bible and Culture


Defaced

posted by Ben Witherington

hatshepsut_art_02.jpg

 

            The statue
stood sentinel,

            But had no
staring eyes,

            Defaced by
vicious vandals

            The royal
line despised.

 

            Erasures
are too common,

            As if our
pasts weren’t past

            Enough with
mere mortality

            The memory
must not last.

 

            The student
of antiquity

            Engaged in
saving face

            Resurrects
the past

            Restores
the memory’s place

 

            Yet still he
must now face it

            Not all can
be retrieved

            The names,
the places, times

            Some gone
forever, grieved.

 

            Face off
the Gnostic nonsense

            That laughs
at history’s ghosts

            As if the
truth could be conveyed

            By timeless
spiritual hosts.

 

            Facile
facsimiles

            Do not
present the past,

            Do not
overcome amnesia

            Do not help
a legacy last.

 

            Pale copies
of originals

            Foolscap,
folio

            Electronic
editions

            Are not the
way to go.

 

When names become mere numbers

            And numbers
bank accounts

            Then all our
days are numbered

            Discarded discounts.

 

            When
Hatshepsut was Pharaoh

            The axis turned
right round

            Reversing
the long history

            Reverberations
still resound.

 

            No vandal
could erase her

            In ex post
facto way

            She’s made eternal
difference

            She had her
day and say.

                       

            Defacing
dismembers us

            Dislocates
times and places

            And we
shall not recover

            Until we
have new faces. 

             

            When Mary
was a virgin

            Deep within
her womb

            There was
the face of God

            With eyes
that could consume.

 

            He saw right
through the pretense

            He looked
into our eyes

            He shone
his light of glory

            Refacing
all our lives.

 

Dec. 29th 2009   BW3

           

             

 

           



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