Virgin Mary and Jesus Statue

Allan Lake

Australia

Originally from Saskatchewan, Allan Lake has lived in Vancouver, Cape Breton Island, Ibiza, Tasmania, Perth & Melbourne. Poetry Collections: Tasmanian Tiger Breaks Silence (Lasting Impressions, 1988), Sand in the Sole (Xlibris, 2014). Lake won Lost Tower Publications (UK) Comp 2017 & Melbourne Spoken Word Poetry Fest/The Dan 2018. Poetry Chapbook (Ginninderra Press, 2020): My Photos of Sicily.

Jesus on Acland Street

(King James Version)

 

             Chapter 1

Jesus was loitering in St Kilda this morning,

idle by the tram stop, smoking, watching

trams unload/load, come and go.

Long hair and beard white as stuff

that never falls from heaven in Melbourne,

thinning on the crown.

2  Looked worn out, bored

but not cross about anything.

3  Doesn't care about Acland Street

upgrade/downgrade or who wins

the football Grand Final.

4  Like His heavenly father,

He barracks for St Kilda Saints but

also has soft spot for Demons  – 

His mother's son.

           

             Chapter 2

Straining track pants undone,

in one pocket a flask of unholy spirits,

just enough to provide some comfort.

In left hand a degrading plastic bag

wherein nestle some discounted,                                                                                                                                                                   

way out-of-date chocolate bars.

2  Obese, beyond world-weary, despondent.                                                                                         

3  Gets an Australian Age Pension,

nothing from country of His birth.

4  Never had proper jobs so no super-

annuation, no investment property.

5  Inherited small carpentry business

from long-suffering stepdad but in ideal-

istic youth drifted into philosophy.

6  Had a doughnut with pink icing earlier  – 

Ezekiel saw a wheel a'rollin  –  and way too

whitened coffee from convenience store.

           

               Chapter 3 

Divine but diabetic Jesus long ago

stopped saying anything on street corners

or public parks for fear the unhinged

would abandon day jobs and families

to follow Him, demand the wine trick.                                                                      

2  No Facebook, no blog, no cat, no dog;                                                      

behold the decrepit, benign dinosaur.                                                

3  Had He simply remained dead ...                                                                          

but such was not His fate.

4  No point swearing about longevity

but, Christ, He can feel the weight

of all those bloody Christian calendars.

5  Made so many obscene scenes,

thought His time was up during the brief                                                                  

Age of Enlightenment, Communism.

6  Saw it all, almost, but never married                                                                            

or had kids  –  no desire to perpetuate

rare genes, His odd problems.

7  Had countless opportunities,

could have written a book

but saw where that can lead.

         

               Chapter 4

Today He just sits, not watching,

not waiting and, unlike the rest of us,

not anticipating earthly or heavenly reward.

2  Condemned to roam till no souls

pray on Him so it'll be awhile yet.

3  Rivers of humanity flow down Acland

Street, sometimes low, sometimes swollen

like on footy Grand Final weekend,

but flowing, flowing, flowing

as long as that old sun shines.

 

 

*Acland St : notorious cafe strip,

  Melbourne, Australia

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