An Allegory of a Prodigal Soul

On my knees through the mud,
through the thorns,
and through the mist,
I find you watching from the mountains’ brink,
Your mantel blue, you’re blessed eyes yearning,
Yearning for those who have not entered in,
for the multitudes who sleep in nightmares burning.

From the wolves I fled, I fled in wonder.
From the dusk and the lamp-shade that was this vale of tears,
Because I beheld your light, good queen upon the mountains,
And above the vapors that swirled about my sin-tossed brow.

You cried to me,

“Come and see him…
Come and look upon my son, your king.
In him, though your trespasses be as scarlet,
He shall clothe you in garments white, white as snow.
In him, there shall be no more tears.
In him, there shall be no more wounding.
For by his stripes, you are healed,
And in his cross, you shall learn to bear your burdens.
For he who finds me, shall find my son,
And he who loves the son shall acquire mercy.”

That voice, I knew from long before,
From my childhood before the hills and medows of my fathers’ estate.
But I had gone running after strange paths,
And had forgotten the road back, to my familiar place.

Always, you seemed to say to me,
“Come,” and now and again I would stir,
At first a step and then a mile,
Pressing for your hope-filled glance.

“Come,” your cry echoed in my ears,
Leading me from my old haunts and points of stain,
Leading me to bathe my heart, to cleanse my spirit,
In the springs of radiance that spilt from your sons’ country.

Those nearest me whispered, “Do not listen.”
False tongues wagged, “You have no need of her prattling.”
Yet onward I strode, onward I climbed beyond the sunset,
Until I found you, my beloved lady,
my refuge immaculate, my shelter from the storm.

You sent messengers before your face to guide me,
And in their footsteps, I learnt the way.
I exchanged my filthy garments for robes of linen.
I took on myself the journey,
though I could not peer behind the vail,
though I bore no staff nor stave.
Seven angels bearing swords and arms like silver,
flecked with fire, keep the way to your gabled seat,
to that hallowed throne where all shadows pass,
to a better Eden than Adam sold.

A white tree stands before her throne,
Bearing fruit dark with luminous joy,
And at the foot of its bark, Enoch crouches low,
Clutching to his chest an unsealed scroll.

Beside him, Elijah holds a great red book,
Held shut in reverence until the final day,
And each to each, their songs of glory grow,
While at their feet the seraphim continually praise,
You, most highly favored among women,
You who have crushed the serpents laughing head.

Here, at the summit of creation, your arms cradle him,

The author and architect of dreams,
The infant-king clothed in crimson and in white,
Whose face summons me to lie adoring amongst the lilies clean,
To sing canticles to the stars and give thanks to him,
For you and for every grace,
that overflows from the chalice of your smile.

Oh sweet Jesus and Mary, keep me in your smile,
Keep me in the fire of your divine love.
For I have tarried too long in shade.
I have wandered too far from home.

At last I stagger, prodigal as I am,
Begging for a glimpse of your knowing embrace,
That I may be united with you, forevermore,
From the dawning of the New Jerusalem,
To the passing of this tumultuous age.