by SAMUEL O. TAIWO
When with earth’s most slimy impunity
And heaven’s most putrefying disgust
My deified honour and most worshipped right
Was by some unknown distant brotherman
Doormat trodden in most sarcastic spite,
I, my fists rock clencht’, vowed on swift revenge –
My fickle heart in me a-burning fumed
Like smouldering fires in bitterest scotch.
Resolved was I, sped by infernal quest
To my bruised childlike innocence defend
Intently with my last and dying breath
‘Gainst my offender once my brotherman.
But so it was, as I my revenge framed
With an open Bible in my hand spread
Seeking this to right by my religion,
To Luke’s gospel, I raced, the sixth Chapter –
My roving eyes the golden rule scouting –
Till on that one most famed thirty-first verse
I my gaze fixed, keenly it’s content read
The sacred words of Christ wisely spoken.
It’s two millennia flicker undying
By which those who heard same in his time quaked
Came echoing through Time’s bleak horizons
Headlong, ‘gainst my theology rending:
“And as ye would that men SHOULD do to you,
Do ye also even to them likewise”,
At which the scale which once my conscience deemed
By which I to an evil Shylock morphed
Like cracks of molten candle wax dried hard
Fell off my eyes, my empathy revived.
Then understood I what the Son of God
By this averment celestial had meant:
What I would that my stranger brotherman
SHOULD do to me, of which he never did
(Through deeds committed or deeds omitted)
By which I in the right, offended stand,
This I to him must do in recompense,
That I may with Good overcome Evil.
“For what reward have ye” said the Messiah
“If ye love only they who ne’er thee wronged?
“For by such deed do braggart publicans
“Their carnal, pious religion define.
“But thou, except thy righteousness exceed
“That of these men which, like split-tongued adders
“Do render good for good and brute for brute
“Measure for measure as ’twas to them shown
“Thou, heaven’s pearly gates shall ne’er behold”.
Anew understood I the golden rule
As I from my bended knees rose that day,
(My Bible closed, my hands in pray’r now clencht’,
My heart in heav’n’s serenity immersed)
For grace to forgive I in prayer pled
Seventy times seven my brotherman
As the Divine my endless wrong forgives.