Street Messiahs

Thoughts on beginnings; mass movements,
Mainly religious or political ones;

That changed history,
That started on town or city streets,
That spawn the greatest heroes, darkest villains.

This was truly strange,
The world of academia
Reached out to me, gave me a poem I must write.

I pondered, I mused, 
Hmm! All start with a messenger,
A preacher with a word that touches a nerve.

Ah ha! Gather round,
Here’s the story! Heed my words!
Have I your attention! let the poem begin:

Street messiahs are
A match for Tarot card readers,
But no relation to the old town criers;

Though all needs tell, have 
Messages to sell, to impress
Upon you their importance, their earnestness.

Each seeks to fill up
Empty places lurking within,
Giving you the news that makes you turn and gasp;

That gains attention,
Grasps your minds, and your emotions.
All seek to sway your hearts to follow their cause.

A major difference;
The Street Messiahs are more bold,
They seek to worm their way into people’s souls.

So they tease, cajole.
Loudly preach from street podiums,
Some succeed, gain a following, their own cult;

From ‘midst the aimless,
The empty, the naïve, also
The mindburnt and those who seek, need to be lead.

They work the living,
Promising Heaven, now, later.
Swearing their Message is as their Voice has said;

“Speak to the people,
Bring them to the Light of the Truth;
‘Surrender to the Beauty of the Vision;

Offer up yourselves,
Come, follow, learn and Know the Word,
And in the Word, find Peace, Comfort and Freedom.”

Some will follow this
Is just what they need, they have found
Their way to be found, a place, and company.

Now they belong, now
They are strong and now they are saved.
And visions of Paradise dance in their heads.

They have surrendered 
Their souls, their bodies, their fortunes,
Their futures, often their lives, to their Master.

For those who heed not,
The Messianic call, that is,
Nearly all, who avoid this insanity,

For these heretics,
And all who will not accept:
(What matters this to the Messiah, He Knows!)

A different message:
Now comes the threats of punishment,
Damnation, subjugation, or even worse;

Street Messiahs are 
Not stone crazies, like those who beg,
Homeless, wander streets cursing, ranting, drinking;

No! They are foxes,
Seducers of the mind, insane
Or not, with a Message, preached to a drumbeat.

The Street Messiah 
Gives out his call, his pitch to all,
That pass him by on the wicked city streets.

Published in Pivot