Picture This

We tend to shoot the bearers of bad news;
poor messengers who carry in their heads
someone else’s words: no doubt a ruse
to let us murder people in their beds.
Doomsayers, as a rule, are first to go:
put against a wall and quickly shot.
Postmen, politicians – the so-and-so
who works in sales – are soon forgot.

But it’s different when the profit’s in the Word,
the prophet’s made: he takes on sacred airs.
Whether indivisible, or a holy third,
to argue with the Lord is all one dares
to do in thought: to picture it in ink,
draws devils from the pit up to the brink.

Nigel Holt

If you've any comment on this poem, Nigel Holt would be pleased to hear from you.