|John is a poet and poetry editor of Overland. He lives in Australia.|
© 2004 John Leonard
more information on John
SON OF THE FATHER
When Barabbas took his leave,
Knocked the dust off his feet,
And found a new country as
Far as might be from his past,
What did he feel, and what
Did he think?
Did he acknowledge blood-guilt,
Think who had died in his stead,
Or thank God that the cup
Had passed from his lips?
Or was all this now part
Of another story?
Was it not enough to have
Escaped, to have shrugged off
The name that was not his?
Having cheated death, was life
Not sweet enough, and filled
With new-found duty?
And was it not the case that
Having escaped, he saw his life
With new eyes; its trials over,
It now belonged to others,
To have their say, to prepare
Their true versions.
If the work is without loose-ends,
The rhetoric faultless, audience assured,
Then what is said is said
For that day, and ends with it.
What is impossible, unfinished—
Paralipomena to nothing—
Is, by all accounts, the essence
Of the human, or the divine.
If every 't' is dotted, the clues
Fail to add up, if the words seem
To say what they cannot,
Then all best guesses are grist.
All work is copyrighted property of John Leonard.
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