Parable Poems

by Robert Brow



I hated her for the lies she had told miserable trouble maker then I saw her in hospital tried to pass by her door but she waved politely I inquired of her health inoperable carcinoma so I held her fingers in my hands nervously when she cried then hugged her three months till she died radiated by our loving


I delighted in violent pornography loved women to be raped and force them into foulest degradation I met this girl a likely candidate for pleasure but she forced me to church felt foolish singing hymns so I tried to imagine raping the chick but my feeling couldn't focus on her body so I thought of the barmaid next week came again to church the preacher said God loves me which was quite ridiculous so decided to return a month later I knelt down and felt clean as I prayed I found myself horrified at the thought of forcing her now I can't think of raping any woman I even pray for that sassy busty barmaid which is strange it must be God


credit cards were demanding longer hours less at home forgot the kids that need me they will be rich when I make it went to church to please my wife the long sermon was for planning what I could do to pull barns and build greater then suddenly the voice of God came on the air this night your soul is required that hit the spot we both began going over our stupid life we cut right back moved downtown walked to work paid the bills and did things with our kids started giving ten per cent the old preacher is still too long (taken from Luke 12:15-21)


aged twelve had a crush on a teacher as I eyed her figure aged fourteen I was ready for a girl she readier than I hoped aged sixteen fell in love the rotten kid expected me to bed her aged twenty found a man for a friend with no duty to perform


they promoted a boot licker instead of me I hated him I had to wait for my revenge then he slipped lost an order a minor lie was sufficient to get him out and get me in my little lie needed stronger bigger lies to keep the job which explains my gut is sore I am treated for ulcers


loved Peter rough fisherman but what if he wrecked my church loved James son of thunder but what if he called down fire loved Matthew mafia leader but what if he conned us all loved Mary Magdalene but what if she went back to form love Thomas questioner but what if he denied the faith loved John intimate friend but what if he loved too much loved Judas eager zealot but what if he kicked my teeth (collected from the four Gospels)


with the spring I enjoyed my opening to soft pink delicacy and the scent to attract him when he came to look at me too closely I pricked him with my thorns


I had watched humility joy laughing compassion grace truth in gutsy flesh like a saint then I felt tender love surrounding me when I was down the hug changed from grateful to intimate she accepted the passion of my body without taking what a lover must not give to a saint (suggested by Janie Gustafson's Celibate Passion, Harper & Row, 1978)


the evening seemed to drag sitting alone I resented she had to work for the money picked her up from hospital warmed her up with chocolate and massaged her aching legs we lay down holding tight as she slept in my arms far too tired and beautiful


a year ago it was women I admired but now I feel strange thoughts perplexing me king Solomon taking me off to his palace it's foolish because I am a country girl dark from work in the vineyards my beloved has invited me by his side on the couch my neck is like a jewel string my eyes doves in my hair teeth flashing like young lambs after washing and my breasts like two fawns let him open my garden door its fragrance myrrh and aloes nard and saffron cinnamon wafted abroad in the wind of his loving like a gazelle he came looking in our window and wanted me to elope but a shepherd has betrothed me to live happy with my babies (taken from the Song of Solomon, a love fantasy in the Bible)


I was too shy to kiss a girl or even ask for a date from the corner of my eyes I had seen Pepita provocative auburn hair lips eyes for the boys I came along in my canoe she hopped in and watched me I paddled hard till we moored on a sandbank swam together I kissed her on the cheek she kissed me on the lips looked bored said coolly take me back to my friends


little children dancing school the peasants merry making hora ballroom maypole jig ballet rumba highland disco Charleston tom-tom gypsy reggae hula can-can country Viennese jazz flamenco samba Cossack Arab belly fiddle stomping Catalunya rock and roll but why should I be stuck up like a mourner prelamenting my funeral (a meditation on Psalm 30:11, 150:4, Luke 6:23, 7:31-35, 15:25)


I love wine that is aged crystal clear to be sipped and savoured with friends I visited the vineyard to my horror it was harvest they collected the grapes in the vats half naked men and women were stomping singing songs red with juice they offered me new wine to sicken me but they said everyone should celebrate I threw off my silk gown and joined them an hour later the new wine tasted great (suggested by Luke 5:37-39)


when I saw him I dismounted from my camel veiled myself as the servant told the story Isaac took me to his tent asked about his cousins then he looked into my eyes now the twins in my womb are fighting for the right to be heirs of Abraham (taken from Genesis 24:62-67, 25:21-26)


as I hurried in the park a squirrel caught my eye stood watching his collecting for the winter so I sat down he jumped on my skirt checked the bag for a sandwich as we shared I thanked God which I find embarrassing so I cursed and left him to hurry on my business


we had lived seven years by common law then decided it was time to please my mum we inserted credit cards in the marriage bank terminal so much cheaper than in church the computer checked names to be quite sure we both were free to engage in matrimony one night tired of having Ann whining around got her drunk put in the cards for divorce but I stayed two more years in the same bed mother thought we were OK still married but then she found we were again terminally unmarried so I left Ann to make it right Now I make sure I get married and unmarried by terminal every time to please my mum


eating for him was important a ritual thanksgiving conversation loving feast and to welcome new friends to his table the day before Passover he arranged a room for us took a towel washed our feet broke bread shared wine and explained the next day he would die as the lambs were readied he was buried hurriedly and I ate the Passover with my kids I remembered his last words when you gather in eucharist keep eating and drinking I'll be there I won't leave you orphaned (This assumes that Jesus died on the Day of Preparation for the Passover meal. See Matthew 26:5, 27:62, Mark 14:12, 15, 15:42, Luke 23:54, John 19:14, 31)


when I found I was pregnant we decided on a wedding so we talked to the pastor discovered we both prayed even wanted Christian faith for our kids without ever sharing it with the other on the day organ music in the church and my father to give away his daughter incredibly I couldn't vow for my crying with the ring on my finger I just hugged for the joy of our marriage


I was walking past a farm and saw the boy climb high up the barn roof then he slipped and crashed I ran to see found a bone through the skin spurting blood I called for help but the farmer had gone away the boy went pale saying nothing a tourniquet slowed the flow then in the yard I saw a truck ready to go I was tempted but I thought thou shalt not steal an hour later as I prayed the boy died in my arms I soon heard everybody in the country was against me it is costly obeying God at any price (based on Exodus 20:15. Stealing is always wrong but no reasonable person, or the police, or a judge, would call taking the farmer's truck to save his son a case of stealing)


our boy cried for his mother I took him to McDonald's he kept fussing till he found a tiny frog to play with we visited in hospital he asked why she had tubes he chattered about the frog and she smiled for a second then she lost consciousness he knelt down and prayed for her and sheepishly I said Amen the first time since childhood (suggested by Matthew 18:1-2)


in my teens I pictured a slim twiggy as my partner Joy was plump bold figured at the edge of the dance I asked her half expecting a refusal but she said yes did the rumba gracefully body alive to the beat when I talked she listened argued back with a smile when she played with the children I pictured our family when she prayed I knew I would dance with her all my life


my twin sister didn't believe in anything beyond our life in the womb we discussed the coming end of existence heard noises musical sound movements from outside I insisted this can't be all there is to our world back and forth nine months we both turned the argument then suddenly birth pangs pressed upon our little home this is the end we both said and my sister disappeared then the final constriction and my lungs breathed new air felt at home in a world I had guessed uncertainly my twin sister by my side sucking milk contentedly


birds migrate fly by stars and beavers design dams tiny ants milk aphids dumb termites can fan vault their cloisters parrots copy human voices bees signal dance exactly the location of the honey monkeys mimic whales compose melodic song child of God my performance is pathetic what am I to contribute I can enjoy nature art assign value give thanks I can value moral beauty the perfection of Jesus Christ overcome my instincts by the Spirit to love God and my neighbour


I was watching her body burn for witchcraft because I lied as she writhed truth came home she was dying because of me her only sin was the beauty that I lacked and her faith I won over her boy friend a victory that tasted foul she ought to be the one in bed nursing the child in my arms I couldn't sleep head heart sick ulcerated saw her burning you have sinned my father said the only way is sacrifice I went with him to the temple bought a lamb and confessed with my hands upon its head God accepted it's life and mine I slept that night but wondered why a lamb dies so I can eat


I struggled with the marble still unformed but awaiting me to chisel I knew Mary was beautiful and her child both needed a good model but the women with babies were awkward didn't want me looking on I despaired of creating felt tempted to do the work like a hack suddenly the Greek Muse of sculpture came to mind to inspire me and the power that shadowed even Mary for conceiving the holy child Holy Spirit come posses me and clearly I could see in the marble as the chisel cut into it they came out both together so beautiful (At the beginning of Paradise Lost Milton called on both the Muses and the Holy Spirit to empower him. This suggests that Michelangelo did the same)