Drowning in the Jordan

supper
detail from Supper at Emmaus by Carravaggio

 

Drowning in the Jordan

Dead of winter, and Josh drinks alone –
His birthday today, and the years have flown.
Thirty today, and what has he done ?
Never been married, never had a son.
He feels he’s achieved far less than he’d oughta
Whittling the wood while his life’s getting shorter
“Gimme a break, an’ I’ll set the joint humming,
I’ll give unto Caesar just what he’s got coming !”

“I’m gonna
Rise with the dawn to pray and sing,
I’m gonna
Rise with the dawn and bless the poor –
They’re gonna raise me up an’ crown me king,
An’ when they think me beat, I’ll be back for more !”

Dead of winter, and Josh drinks alone –
All night he’s preaching in his slurrey drone.
He’s wasted round here, his vital mission:
There’s plenty to hear him, but none to listen.
Already he’s had two more than he oughta,
Knocking it back as though it were water.
He bangs down his grail with an angry thud:
“Gimme another, cos this is my blood !”

“I’m gonna
Find me some fishermen, and practice how to talk,
I’m gonna
Find me some fishermen and go from town to town –
I’m gonna cross the waves if I have to walk,
And if you wanna stop me, you’ll havta nail me down !”

Dead of winter, and Josh drinks alone –
This world is a bitch and it needs to atone.
He’s got his sermons and hymns to dispense –
He’s telling his stories, but they don’t make sense.
“Why won’t you bastards listen like you oughta ?
Why won’t you hark to the lessons what I taught yer ?
The love of money is the root of all malign !”

But the barman doesn’t care as he charges for the wine.

“I’m gonna
Work with my hands till I raise some sparks,
I’m gonna
Work with my hands till they heed what I tell,
One day so these palms are gonna bear marks,
An’ if you don’t believe me, I’ll see you in Hell !”

Dead of winter, and Josh drinks alone,
He’s got his second wind, he’s rolling back the stone –
Says he’s gotta leave and join the cherubim,
To do unto others like they’d better do to him.
He knows he’s delayed for longer than he oughta:
Someone’s gotta be the Devil’s holy thwarter
Someone’s gotta sow so the reapers reap their seedful
Someone’s gotta help all the camels through the needle.

“I’m gonna
Quit this hick town and walk the Earth,
I’m gonna
Quit this hick town and bang my drum,
I’m gonna walk out and show them what I’m worth,
I’m gonna walk out till kingdom come !”

 

 

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