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Ode to a Harlot

I was hurt by a vain professor of righteousness. Of that person I saw a vision. She was like her kind and her kind like her – light, treacherous, full of lust and hypocrisies. So are all those who “go to church” and think they do God a service.

Twirl on the dance floor, harlot,

One hand on the hip, the other in the air.

You enjoy yourself and life is full;

You are well fed and rich and confident.

You have no thirst because you drink

From a cup filled with blood,

The blood of friend and foe alike;

The blood of saints is in your mouth.

You’ll have what you will;

Your kiss extends to all,

But behind the lips of love and “concern”

Are hid the teeth that tear the flesh

Of unwary, innocent souls.

Spare the good you have for them,

Let them live instead.

Harlot, how is it you throw away riches for gain?

How is it you charge such a dear price for yourself?

Why does it cost you so?

“For a price I will care for you;

For a price, a small price at that,

I will console you in your circumstance

But if you’ll not pay, then I will not love;

My love is not without price

Though small the price may be.

And once I have what I want from you,

I will invite you to come to church,

I’ll take you to my pimp

Who teaches me well and salves my mind

To do with you what I please.

I do not determine my blessing by what I give

But by what I get.

I may be funny this way

But I simply won’t live

At my cost if I can live at yours.

So take my love, the price is small;

You’ll find your troubles disperse

Though torment and grief will tear at you,

For I have eaten and drunk to my full

And gained the upper hand.”

Woman,

Your lips profess the Christ,

Your soul in righteousness,

But let me warn you solemnly

That your teeth speak otherwise.

Consider the cost, the circumstance,

The devious ways you walk,

And know there is a price to pay

A fearful one you’ve not discerned.

Can you escape the Almighty Judge

Who perfectly reads the heart

And rewards according to its fruits?

You will fall, make no mistake

And there’ll be none to catch you

For when you observed the vulnerability of others

You took full advantage.

Twirl on the dance floor, harlot,

Eat, drink and be merry

For if you continue, tomorrow you die

And then whose will your goods be?

Mystery Babylon will fall,

Her sins made manifest

And those who leave her for the truth

In prosperity and peace shall rest.

Lethbridge, Sept. 1984

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