The Clanging Truth (Lent Poems 12)

What is truth? he laughs,
And turns his back,
A final flounce, a sulky huff,
The provincial honcho,
His rabble-rousers angry,
Too gridlocked to say
What he really thought.
What has he done?
Got me up before breakfast,
Set my ulcer off;
This had better be worth it.
The holy huddle’s cynical tug
At his power-hungry heartstrings
Leaves him unimpressed:
King of the Jews?
The thought is laughable.
A backwards glance before he leaves the room:
The man in question stands
In silence, waiting,
His not-of-this-world truth kingdom
Nowhere to be seen here, save
The disquieting strength
In his firm-fixed gaze.
Everyone on the side of the truth –
Ha! the foolishness, the hubris –
Listens to me. The door slams.
The careworn governor storms outside,
Where the words, unheard, still resound,
A sharp clanging in his stubborn ears.
What is truth? he shouts again
To the swirling and the anger
And the morning air
And the biting accusation which
Even his power cannot acquit.

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