My name is Prophet but they call me, ‘Hey, you!’ I am a penniless drifter shod poorly. I am diseased & despised. I sing for a seat near the hall down the path to the shed used by swine. I’m gleeful with joy for any place to dine. Crafty by circumstance, I am blessed with a spark of divine mind. I trade hope for shelter. I barter truth for a comfortable lie. I feel privileged, indeed, honored to share my most cherished possession with whatever lurking beast or saint there may come a knocking on the door of my rice paper heart.
The possession I speak of is my inner light, my love; the most powerful force in the universe. More often than not I possess neither food nor shelter yet light never lets me down. My huckster mind tries to convince me otherwise, but I say, “Shyster thoughts be damned! Belief does not make an invidious fantasy real. “
Those evenings I am cold, angry, lonely, rejected & filled with remorse for coming to this place in the first place, are the very same evenings I forget to be grateful. On these occasions, nights crawl painfully slow to that trickster I call dawn. What I lack in essentials I make up in wisdom. Vagabond wisdom is priceless so I give it away for free. I must. Like my father before me, I stand hunchbacked, just as his father before him. My deformed stoop is the result of an incalculable weight I carry upon my shoulders.
My mother was born & raised in New York City’s West Side shanty town; Hell’s Kitchen. My father was orphaned at the age of two under crushing dank Mississippi Delta poverty which knows no equal. Opposites do attract but apparently, cosmic humor loves tragedy. Rarely does it make anyone laugh.
My mother and father did the best that they could to overcome their fate of birth relying on passionate belief in the power of love. “Belief” and “knowing” are two different things. My parents eventually found a peaceful solace but in the arms of different lovers; my father, in the arms of another woman, my mother, in the love for her children. They taught me how to dig deep to survive, and with great good fortune on my side, I discovered I love getting my face dirty.
I wonder if being born deformed and senseless is easier to bear than this weight, this soul-numbing weight? I fear the worst should I stumble or fall. I fear for the innocents striding between land & the cobalt blue seas. When I fear it is because I’ve abandoned gratitude. Sometimes my unbridled dejection paralyzes my connection to God. It is easiest then to dismiss divine light as a dreamer’s hallucinations run amok. And I do. Yes, I do. I dismiss like a diva.
ART: Scott Utley by Scott Utley