He slept in the wilderness
near the pool of brackish water
where the bittern knit its fortress
moment by moment
sometimes blundering like a story line….
There he tore off his fingered garments,
his linen bondage
that fluttered and wound around him….
Here in the mud and thunder roar scavengers
like withered spirits
congregated above the carcass of a lamb
in the thorn bush, while the pummeling scent
of calamus and oozing resin
rose; there he stayed naked displaced hungry
humiliated, his hands and feet
a staunched season of cuts and bruises,
(smudge of adulation and obloquy).
Here he thirsted in the winter-silent pain
of the body alone.
No, an easy refuge was not his
in this bright darkness where they had
descended pushing him fold upon fold
into the gemmy shallows,
men with lanterns, stumbling in heavy bedclothes,
and their women too who had no
patience, upbraiding him with anger rigged
upon their homely faces.
Exhilarated they all were (as mortals often are
who cannot reason)
to form from their nature weakened
by long boredom and malcontent
that much of a living god….