Behold, He Said, Behold

(a movie and a dream)

In silent deep and sonorous tones an armless man did speak,

Set down upon a wagon wheel another man did keep,

Who raised the hue and called the cry

Of words some others wrote

He spoke from memory of the past,

In echoes through his heart.

The armless man but told the truth his heart alone had dreamed,

With neither flaw nor footnote’s change,

in golden notes writ down,

Impermanent but wraithlike tomes,

Not written on a score,

A composition deep was plumbed,

He sung the metanoia’s breath,

But these strange words of his were made to pierce the human heart:

“The darkling mirror dangled high above the cloudless sky

and stepping in the baths of Love

On Cupid’s fountain place,

She drenched herself

In sullen face before the stars could sleep,

And then with gait but slightly rocked in oh so gentle ways,

along the edge of bank-side docks,

she slowly walked away.

Then older bells began to toll,

as angels look tongue-tied,

And singing in their simplest songs with words before unspoke,

They closed the lips of orators whilst captives lightly walked.

“ ‘Twas just a simple walk was all.”

That’s what she had proclaimed,

And so we thought,

‘Twas time at last to find a resting place.

And when he woke ‘twas as a dream,

of music once they played,

and with a scrap of it he slept

as Sunrise met the haze.

And when he woke he spoke these things and all were sore amazed:

“At night the deemsters came to me and whispered backward songs and left behind next in my mind the songs of bolder days.”

“What do you want, leave me alone,” his weary heart then cried!

“Why did you come to me today,

in messages of doom?

or tell me of sad prodigals that sing of latter days?”

‘‘Twas it to make me sense the change the world has since betrayed?”

[No answer came to him until the words of doom replayed,

and in that truth and morning’s eyes he saw his words displayed.]

And at these words the armless soul recited verse he knows,

His audience sat rapt and warmed,

by time and Night alone.

Behold! He Said, Behold:

My history repeats itself in Mirrors of our days:

“I came to tell you only things you judged yourselves were true,

but never let the judgment end,

though proof seems Falsehood, too.”

And in these words the armless soul recited verse he knows,

His audience sat rapt and warmed,

by time and Night alone.

Behold! He Said, Behold.

Now in a silent sonorous tone

the voiceless man calls out:

“Sit down upon a wagon wheel that never man did see!”

He raised so loud the hue and cry,

of warnings others spoke,

or wrote from memories long ago,

which came upon the soul.

The voiceless man could easily

tell the truth his heart had borne,

Without a flaw or footnote’s change,

His heart had been reborn.

His tones were soon unbounded notes,

In songs he could not keep,

The notes were written by a hand unwatched by human view,

he plays our hearts like symphonies,

In movements etched and deep.

He sinks upon this earthly ground,

He loses arms and feet,

And all at once,

as night is deep,

His music yet unplayed,

The wand upheld,

now he begins

And tunes the empty Night.

Cacophony his only friend,

the words his only voice,

So now this feckless wounded man retells the verse of old,

His audience rehearing words in rhymes they then

Behold.

And then the man speaks forth these words:

“I learned this lesson hard:

I never need to tell these words:

I live them

Oh so sure,

When in my mind I cast about,

and close my eyes in fear.”

“There is a judge so far above who listens to our Woes,

so walk your days unbowed,

unbent,

And listen for my song.”

“Take refuge now in this my Song,

Climb high upon these spires,

the tines may balance very sharp,

And teach hard miseries.”

Alas, the forlorn feckless man

Sits on the wagon wheel,

But not a soul has noticed how the wheel has slightly turned.

And now he must

resort to sing his solemn woeful verse;

His audience now listening,

In Hope restored.

Behold.

-Albert Turner Goins

--

--

--

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Visions and Dreams

240. evident, this, the clown on the spit

Best Snack — EVER!

Anxiety’s Lie

marble polishing servinces

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Albert Goins

Albert Goins

More from Medium

The Exception: Hepatitis C in Egypt and the United States

The Pantoum

What Did Medieval Peasants Know?

On My Father // The Way