Wednesday August 26th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the hypocrite.

Smoke was marginally better again today. At this rate the air should be back to its regular quality by December. Or maybe Saturday, when it is finally supposed to rain.

It's gotten to the point that I'm not even going to complain about it raining on market day.


Standing bright and brash
In the public eye,
He pretends to be
One hell of a lie.
For in the safety
Of solitude
He reveals his true,
Cruel attitude.
So listen not to how
He talks the talk,
But watch instead how
He walks the walk.


Greg said...

The rain is surely a blessing in disguise given how the last week has been for you! I hope it's a good market day despite the forecast weather, and that the fires are all over now.
There's something a little jagged and spiky about this poem today, with the changes in metre and rhythm that I think, embody the contradictions that a hypocrite displays. It's very cleverly done, and although i didn't like it at first, as I worked it out and appreciated it, I realised how well done it actually is. Nice work!

The hypocrite
The fall of leaves from the trees pattered like rain on the dry ground. From the portico of the church plaster saints gazed eyeslessly across the churchyard, holding a vigil for those who would walk up the flagstoned path to its doors. The white paling fence was tilted this way and that and paint peeled from it in long strips like sunburned skin. At the corner of the church someone had left three empty cans of whitewash and a stiffening brush; round the back the sepulchres had been freshly whited.
The doors creaked as they opened, and Pastor Don and Deacon Joey halted their leisurely pace before they actually stepped outside. They both gazed out, seeing the empty path and the empty street outside the church, and Joey seemed to slump a little.
"Do you think anyone will come?" he said, kneading his hands in his white surplice.
"The hypocrite will," said Pastor Don. He had a face with a raspberry-stained birthmark across two-thirds of it and a badly-repaired hare-lip. He generally avoided presiding over weddings or baptisms because he tended to distract people, but he was always the first choice for a funeral or a eulogy. "There are television crews in town, so I would expect that we'll have at least one of them covering his attendance."
"Don't they know it's all for show?"
Pastor Don chuckled. "So is all this."
"Sorry, what?"
"So is all this. This church, the service, my thoughtful, hard-written sermons, the hymn-singing and the choirboys, picked for their angelic voices. It's all for show. You could sit at home in a comfortable chair and commune with God in the quietude of your own head and it work as well."
"Pastor Don! That's... that's... heresy!"
"Gnosticism, actually. You should read those books I recommended to you. They're a little more useful that those Gospels you insist on memorizing."
"We need the church! It affords a sense of community!" There was the sound of van engines, which cut out suddenly. Doors slammed.
"Yes, indeed. And here comes the community and the Hypocrite."

Marc said...

Greg - I'm not sure that I'm as fond of my poem as you are, but thank you for the kind words anyway.

Wonderful scene setting details to start your piece, followed by a nicely crafted bit of back and forth between the pastor and deacon. Top notch stuff from you, as usual.