Ph: Life: World's End - Poem by Brian Johnston
This is a true story about world’s end,
But don’t freak out for it was long ago
God’s message must have been garbled...
That the prophet’s prophecy failed you know.
And since those days in sixty eight
Such prophecies I now dismiss
Quite easily, I know the score,
For Bible says no man knows this.
In South Dakota, there’s a river meander
Called Lower Brule, on Indian land,
With twenty-eight sections of grass inside…
The Missouri corralled Dad’s cattle brand.
Two thousand cattle roamed unbroken land,
My summer job to mow and stack
Enough grass for food the whole winter…
For in it’s icy grip there’s no way back.
Our days were long and we worked hard,
New food supplies two hours by car
No TV helped to change our view
Of what was normal, what bizarre.
But how can I communicate the loneliness
Of such a life, though it is true day’s works
And meals brought us at least a taste
Of civilization’s near forgotten perks.
Near forty minute drive to nearest farm
As well, where lived a girl my age it seems,
As soon as I discovered this, though yet unmet,
Her aspect soon was fodder for my dreams.
This knowledge occasioned visit to her farm
Our very next road trip to town for supplies
And was she a cute farmer’s daughter
With skin smooth as cream and mischievous eyes.
Oh let me share how first visit ended,
With church invitation on coming Sunday,
Which I of course could not refuse
Although its denouement was not fun day.
How my excitement rose when Sunday came,
Drove to their farm to join their ride to town
And quite enjoyed the family on the way
Embracing warm acceptance like renown.
Well the Chamberlin church we attended,
Was an hour by dirt road from their farm,
And the building of non-descript nature
That was simple but still had its charm.
The church chapel was longer than depth was,
With three folk on raised stage that was long
An accordion, bass drum for rhythm,
And harmonica supplements song.
We were led by the preacher’s hands waving
His drum’s foot pedal gave us a beat,
And with instruments played by two women
Seemed our little church band was complete.
Well the music that day was familiar
As we first sang one song and then more
Something strange, the time given to music,
Growling stomach was hard to ignore.
Wooden pews that we sat on were comfy
Perhaps two hundred folk in the flock
But when music went past forty minutes,
I was starting to glare at the clock.
I’d been thinking of lunch for some time now
But at last singing stops, sermon starts
And most saw something strange on the altar
With a sense that their path’s off the charts.
I could hardly believe the unfolding
But the “good news” was end of the world,
There were gasps, many tears, and prayers swallowed,
As his message from God was unfurled.
He invited us all to the altar,
A last chance for confession of sin,
We’d just days for loans needing repayment
To help purge all the evil within.
All alone, just a boy, I reflected,
As the whole crowd moved up to the stage,
Where with great fear they bemoaned this outcome…
My choice tough for a man any age.
Yes our Christ will return for He promised,
That is just why I trust so in Grace,
Feel no need to convince God of birthright,
In Christ’s love all sin gone without trace.
The one Christian perhaps who I see here
Was the one who just walked out the door.
It felt good stepping out of this melee
And God’s justice all I’m looking for.
Now I’ve finally come to the best part
How the preacher knew World’s End was near
For Canaveral’s rockets disgraced man
His faith based not in Love but in Fear.
Yes, our shooting those holes up in heaven
Was now finally causing man’s fall,
And our Scientist’s quest for more knowledge,
Was just bringing destruction to all.
Just a postscript about farmer’s daughter,
Couldn’t spend my life focused on sin,
For the world in my world has future
And with Science and Love man can win.
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