INTO THE SHADOW

YOU WALK INTO THE SHADOW
FACE COMES OUT OF THE STEEL
COME OUT COME OUT
WHEN THE SHADOW CATCHES YOU
THEN IT’S TIME TO RIOT
IN THE STREET RIOT
IN THE SQUARE SHOUTS THE CROWD
RIOT LOUD RIOT LOUD
FLASHBACK COMES THE CIRCUS
CROWD SHOUT LOUD
FLASHBACK COMES OF JESUS
SHOUTS THE RIOT CROUD
I CAN’T HEAR
BEYOND THE SHADOW
IS IT DOUBT OR DOES THIS TOM BELIEVE
FAITH TURNS ROUND THE WHEEL
FACE COMES OUT OF THE STEEL
SWORD REFLECTION
WORD RESURRECTION
FACE COMES OUT OF THE STEEL
FAITH TURNS ROUND THE WHEEL
YOU WALK INTO THE SHADOW
COME OUT COME OUT
SUN FIRE COME OUT
FIRE COMES OUT OF THE SHADOW
FAITH COMES OUT OF THE SHOUT
I CAN’T SEE
BEYOND THE SHADOW
IS IT FAITH OF DOES THIS SUN DECEIVE
AND THE WHEEL IS A CIRCLE
AND THE CIRCLE IS INFINITY
SWORD IN THE FLAME
TESTED BY LOVE IS A FIRE
SWORD REFLECTION
FACE COMES OUT OF THE STEEL
WORD RESURRECTION
FAITH TURNS ROUND THE WHEEL
AND THE WHEEL IS AN EYE
AND A FIRE IN THE SKY
AND THE FIRE WILL NOT DIE

(~1994)

 


Maybe I should have posted this on Good Friday, the day that rioting crowd crucified Christ. This poem was written under a driving compulsion, yet all these years later I still do not understand it. What face is reflected in the steel of the sword? My head spins with references to Ezekiel, Corinthians, the crucifixion, the resurrection, doubting Thomas, the Word becoming flesh – a reckless outward spiral – or perhaps inward to the heart.

And then there is Joseph Shadow Clark, who I only knew as “Shadow.” I ate lunch with him in our college cafeteria in 1993. He had few friends, although I met him through a mutual friend, and his roommate was a Japanese exchange student that I tutored. A month later he was arrested for a chilling double murder he had committed in the summer before coming to school.


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