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Illustration from: Quaker Reflections to Light the Future: A Collection of Pictures (1967)

Country Rider

Illustration from: Quaker Reflections to Light the Future: A Collection of Pictures (1967)

Illustration from: Quaker Reflections to Light the Future: A Collection of Pictures (1967)

remembering George Fox

He poached in the English shires
for the dissenting souls he cherished.
And channeled what came to him
straight into his journal.
So we was taught to do good unto all
but especially to the household of faith.
He read the prevailing winds of doctrine
and his hurry attends to what is timeless
buried in a history of habit.
There are entries in the Journal for this.
What he wrote out
is a story squarely in your face
the history of salvation
… I had declared the truth to both
the priest and the people and showed
them the deceit they lived in.…
Hostile parsons and jail were nothing new.
About his life there was nothing easy.
To keep the record accurate
he took notes. And tallied the human sum
like the outlier he was. From whichever side
of the prison wall.

 

Correction: The print version had “our” for “out” in line 11.

Robert Bense lives in Sacramento, Calif.


Posted in: March 2014: Funding Ministry, Poetry

One Response to Country Rider

  1. Lary Jones April 22, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

    City & State
    Okatie, SC
    The use of “poached” in the first line confused me. I thought it might be a typo, or spell check error, where preached was meant. I looked up the definition of poach in Merriam Webster dictionary. There it says:

    2
    a : to take (game or fish) by illegal methods
    b : to appropriate (something) as one’s own
    c : to attract (as an employee or customer) away from a competitor

    Meaning c seems to apply here

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