Debra Roberts

Streams in the Desert

Behold, your God!
the sated mouth and grateful tongue,
a loaf of bread, a bite of fish,
a drink for raging thirst and quenched

and Morsels of compassion doled
permitting passage over, under
cutting edge, and cushioned palms
for pilgrimage – your trek and long walk Home

Where did you hear of Jesus?
The whispered talk along the line,
Ah! He was on same dusty path
providing capes and visors, block
shade you from condemning sun,
its blistering fingers point, Accused,
and blinding rays for driving at your heels

droves of you escaping purgatory’s grip,
but carved through wastelands day and night
allowing not a stop for rest –
What sanctuary found?

What holy ground you’ve sought?
Where did miracles appear?
When holy, spirits wrapped in flesh
came forth to give you aid,
despite ignominy & scorn

Who lean into malicious winds,
refused to give malfeasants time or voice,
who pitch your tents & strained against,
who stem your tides in doubtful times
when surge of fears would break your minds

I heard you say, Jesus was found
in hours at cross(ing) troubled sounds,
Tempestuous waves draw family crests
then therein deigned a fiat for
each one whose life on seas reformed

Through waters deep, in tidal storms
and fluctuating currents spared you not
a shred of peace but carried still
the Refugee, eyes set upon Europa’s lease

New Life be found on Other Side,
across the seas from hellish shores
though captain of the ship, untrue
a bouyant hope clings evermore

Salvation found through mortal plight
A loaf of bread, a cup and tent
A child of Tomorrows carried high
on shoulders proud above the fray
A phone equipped with GPS
through barren fields will guide your course



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