[K:JNWTS 20/1 (May 2005) 9-11]

Obadiah 21

(In memory of J. Gresham Machen)

Charles G. Dennison

march-like gait
makes bare, faint
marks kept

To tones drawn well
and accented in gräve
grammarian's delight;
he lays siege
to promised walls
now blasphemed.

Above, a sanctuary—
an unassailable rock—
beckons but hides
the poisoned pool
precious once.

Thirsty he climbs, claws,
stretches, rests awhile
to carve with bloody nails
the name of Jesus
in the walls.

Those at top
inside deride and sneer
since Edom sits
in Zion now
to blast, to scowl.

"This king of glory,
who is he?"
they spit and snarl;
their quarrel mutes
the small response

And silences the stones;
the little man
is lost from off
the ledge
and crushed below.

Each turns his gaze;
the drama done,
resurrecting those ancient
spells pretenders
and imposters pose.
But unseen,
the drama sips
at other wells;
the battle lost
is won.