Marble Surface

Journal of a Soul


Helpful definition--Shibboleth: [noun] a word or saying used by adherents of a party, sect, or belief and usually regarded by others as empty of real meaning. A widely held belief, truism, platitude.


By Fr. Jon Atchley

With wanderlust I set apart the things that I would need,

Knife, blanket, water, matches, and a packet full of seed.

Then left I all I knew behind, and carried out the deed.

Goodbyes I made with my family, sad friends, cat and dog,

Then I stepped out into the mist, hoping to leave the fog

That clouded men’s minds who tried to think their own monologue.

No more disambiguation or things like “proper” speech:

Politically correct nonsense that schools like to teach;

Give me truth or give me death if I never make my breach.

I sifted through the sands of time, I waded marshes damp,

Crossed countries I never knew looking for places to camp,

Under the heat of midday sun until my feet would cramp.

Like a whale I’d submerge, then swim a while and stop for breath,

At port my hope was to evade the "popular" shibboleth;

Yet folks I would encounter only knew cerebral death.

Where was the quest that life did pose? What couldn’t people see?

Why did I seem the only one who thought for them and me?

Was I doomed to fail to find goodness, wisdom or beauty?

Then sat me down, and with a frown, began to pray to God,

“Lord, if you still hear our prayers, have pity on this poor sod.

Help me land where folk are true, where free thoughts are not outlawed.”

Thus burrowed in, with fire lit, I waited just to see,

What my adventure really brought me, pain or ecstasy:

And there I’d stay a month, a year, a lifetime if need be.

When wondrous lo! I did behold an angel from above,

Who came and talked a while with me of things like hope and love.

And shared we thus many thoughts this world seemed deprived of.

Then stood my angel guest to hold my hand,‘twas time to leave,

He said, quietly, “know things can be done you can’t conceive.

All that you have to really do is trust God and believe.”

Before up he shot, like a rocket hot, also did he say,

“Remember to plant your seed of faith, do so every day.”

Midst parted clouds he quickly flew; I knew he couldn’t stay.

Retracing, then, all my steps, I tried to help people see,

Truth, beauty, goodness--all lie within one reality,

We need not shield our thoughts because we’re worried who to be.

Sometimes we need to leave behind a bit, to get a better view:

Why worry what others think? It’ll only make you stew.

Be sure to plant the seed to grow—there’s only one of you!

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