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Image credit: Zu1u

who turned on the naked light,

suspended like a question mark

at the end of the hallway?

 

smudges of dark raw tung oil

dry like quiet shadows

where colors died before the fall

 

and the bulb, naked and alone

like adam and eve in the garden

is hot to the touch.

 

like an apple, scorching their lips

as they sought to hide

behind bushes and stones,

 

their nakedness revealed in the light

when moses saw the bush burning with fire,

(but the bush was not consumed.)

 

 

who then would toss the first stone?

“he who is without sin,”

let him be the first to throw a stone at her.

 

yet they were convicted by their conscience

—revealed in the light—

was it you who turned on the naked light?

 

do you not see that because you did not glorify god

your foolish heart is darkened?

it’s there, in the light. revealed.

 

 

 

 

© 2012, tolbert. All rights reserved.

tolbert (24 Posts)

Born in Virginia and raised in North Carolina, I have Southern roots that were extracted when I lived close enough to Berkeley in the late sixties and early seventies to taste the influences of the pursuit of freedom. As a student at San Jose State University I watched William Kuntsler expound on the values of free speech and he offered more education in an hour, on the lawn by the baseball diamond than most professors gave in a full semester. Married for thirty years, I have two grown daughters and three grandkids,..and two Boston Terriers.


7 Comments

  1. Tolbert, the imagery of your words and the revealing light of these thoughts make this poem one that strikes at the heart. The force of attraction and conflicting emotions…

    “yet they were convicted by their conscience

    —revealed in the light—

    was it you who turned on the naked light?”

    A remarkable poem!

  2. Welcome to Expats Poetry! It is a joy to have you here.

  3. Welcome Tolbert, you make a very strong and worthy entrance. Great piece of thought provoking writing

  4. Welcome to Expats Poetry!

    I particularly like these lines:

    “he who is without sin,”

    let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

    I my considered opinion, there is no such he. The world is crammed with self-satisfied, self-righteous louts who think it is advantageous to attack her whomever she may be.

    The hearts of these cads are not merely darkened they are shriveled and rotting.

    Great, thought-provoking piece.

    Welcome again.

  5. I love this poem. Great job, Tolbert. Welcome to Expats Poetry

  6. tolbert (Author)

    Cher, Dan, Larry, Dean…Thank you, each of you for your
    insighfful words and collectively for the welcome. I appreciate it and look forward to lots of interaction with the group!

  7. So … I won’t be lobbing stones anytime soon. And how many of us would like our private lives illumined by that naked light? It was not I who flipped the switch.

    I like the symbolism of “suspended like a question mark”. Never noticed the similarity in shape before. I enjoyed your poem, Wayne. Once again, welcome!

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