|Painting by Luigi Poggi of the stoning of Stephen. (Acts 6, 58): "And cast him out of the city, and stoned him...".. In the background: Paul (Saul of Tarsus) stands on the left, witnessing the stoning. (Acts 7, 58): "and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.” At that time Paul prosecuted Christians, but on his journey to Damascus he switched sides and became a converted missionary (Acts 9, 3-4): "And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?". —Beit-Jamal Monastery|
You remind me of Paul before he was Paul.
Saul made martyrs like you do.
On a road in the desert
the Morning Star, Light of Life
struck him blind, not pitch black
but bright glare that swallowed him whole.
Something like scales are falling
from the eyes of the man in the orange jumpsuit.
He can see heaven
from where he’s kneeling in the sand.
Someone once said
love your enemies.
The flash of your blade blinds us both
to the good God is bringing into the world.
Eric Lochridge is the author of Born-Again Death Wish (Finishing Line Press, 2015), Real Boy Blues (Finishing Line Press, 2013) and Father’s Curse (FootHills Publishing, 2007), and the editor of After Long Busyness: Interviews with Eight Heartland Poets (Smashwords, 2012). His poems have appeared in journals such as Free Lunch, Slipstream, Diagram and Paddlefish and in anthologies such as Beloved on the Earth: 150 Poems of Grief and Gratitude (Holy Cow! Press, 2009), Liberty’s Vigil: The Occupy Anthology (FootHills Publishing, 2012), and The XY Files: Poems on the Male Experience (Sherman Asher Publishing, 1997). He lives in Bellingham, Washington.