The Dim Jerusalem Skyline

The Dim Jerusalem Skyline

1920 1023 Robert Rife

I see you, eyes cast down in pocked and weathered faces,
cheeks sunken from polishing what could never shine.
Your overseers, harsh and bloated with their assumed fame
cast a sneering glance, a gaping maw of greed,
lusting for lust’s sake, all in the name of (g)od.
I sat at your tables, supping with your sons, your daughters.
I touched your withered, your lonely and broken castaways.
I drank of wine, once pulled from a well, but
unsatisfying for those who just wanted
to celebrate a little longer.

Yesterday, the smallest steed walked on branches and twigs
heedless of the hypocrisy, of misunderstanding, of misapprehension.
Those same roadway gifts will soon be yanked away
in favor of heavier trees and a few nails.
Oh, how you would have been better to keep your coats,
to water your palms, to soak your dirt-worn feet
than to waste such extravagance on a lie.
Now, I look out over the dim Jerusalem skyline,
so large of breast but small of heart –
and weep.


Robert Rife

My friends think me complicated. My employer thinks me talented but at times, troublesome. God, and my wife see me as I am - a philosopher-poet with a rather circuitous journey of life and faith, the music and worship minister at Yakima Covenant Church, a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, poet and writer. I am a graduate from Spring Arbor University with an M.A. in Spiritual Formation and Leadership. These poems, and my life, are dedicated to those places where life, liturgy, theology and the arts intersect with and promote spiritual formation – who we are becoming. Join me on this journey to word-land. Maybe we'll find each other there and share a story or two.

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