The Grace

The Grace

by Denis Kabi

 

There once lived two sisters in a city by the sea.

The two girls were raised by their father in a spacious manor

in the suburbs of that city.

Their father provided them with all of their needs.

The older girl was only a year older than her sibling.

Their personalities contrasted as sharply as night and day,

a hill and a valley, sea and land, good and bad.

This contrast of his daughters’ personalities concerned the father

so much that he hoped they wouldn’t harm each other

in one of their many heated arguments.

The two girls disagreed about many things,

and they mainly argued about things that were appropriate

and things that were not appropriate.

Music, movies, clothes, books, slang, were some of the topics

that they argued about,

with the older sister taking a conservative stand

while the younger sister leaned heavily towards the liberal.

Their modes of dressing, manner of speaking,

the music they listened to,

the movies they watched, the books they read,

the type of friends they hang out with

reflected their contrasting opinions.

In their late teens when they’d both completed high school,

and were both weighing different options,

and considering which professional courses to study at university,

the older sister startled her father by choosing to join a convent

and be trained to be a catholic nun.

When the father talked to his eldest daughter

and realized that she was serious about her decision,

he supported her and sent her off to the convent.

The younger girl on the other hand chose something different;

she chose to study fashion design at an art college,

and her father supported her as well

and paid for all of her expenses.

The older sister did very well in the strict environment of the convent

and when she graduated she was sent to work in a remote parish.

She lived a pure life,

always conscious to avoid all of the world’s evil ways.

On the other hand, the younger sister flourished as a fashion designer,

and there was not a party within a kilometre of the art college

that she didn’t attend.

During her time at the college,

she conceived and gave birth to a child out of wedlock.

When she graduated from the college she got a job as a designer

in an up-market clothing store

and she drank and partied a lot

and even conceived and birthed another child.

One holiday the father invited his two daughters to a banquet.

When the two sisters had travelled back home to visit their ageing father,

the father announced that he was in the process of writing his will

and would be dividing his property equally between his daughters.

When the older daughter, the nun, heard this announcement,

she was angry at her father

for allowing the younger sister to get half of his wealth

yet the younger sister had lived a carefree, sinful life.

The older sister even pointed at the two children

that her younger sister had brought along to visit their grandfather,

as proof of her loose living.

The older sister would have been contented

if her younger sister got no inheritance.

“Father,” the nun had said to the old man.

“How will the grandchildren learn what is right and what is wrong

if impropriety is rewarded?”

But the father loved his children so much that he wrote in his will

specifying that everything he owned now belonged to them.

The nun was not amused;

but her sister and kids were overjoyed by this Good News.

For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith.

 It is not the result of your own efforts,

 but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it. *

*Ephesians 2:8-9 (Good News Bible)

 

© Denis Kabi, 2012

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Sunny Sunday Morning: A Poem

Sunny Sunday Morning: A Poem

by Denis Kabi

 

It’s a sunny Sunday morning.

Everything is bright and lively.

The coo of the morning dove permeates the air.

Globules of dew sparkle on the blades of green grass,

and on the green leaves of various plants,

and on the petals of multi-coloured flowers.

Bees buzz busily about,

to and from their hives,

collecting nectar and storing it,

while their legs carry and spread pollen to various plants.

Other insects buzz around as well,

spending their time wisely.

Birds beat their wings and flit around,

eager to catch something to eat,

and they sing noisily while doing so.

There’s not a cloud in the sky,

but acres upon acres upon acres

of delightful light blue.

Everywhere the wind blows

it ruffles the leaves and blades and petals of plants

and makes tree trunks and branches swing from side to side

as if doing a little jig.

Nature sings, nature dances,

nature raises its hands

in praise of its Creator!

 

It’s a sunny Sunday morning.

Everything is bright and lively.

The coo of the morning dove permeates the air.

The house of worship is packed to capacity

with eager worshippers eager to hear the life-giving Word;

not an inch of pew is uncovered.

Voices of the choir harmonize

with those of the rest of the congregation,

singing “Haleluyia! Haleluyia! Haleluyia!”

as they all clap enthusiastically

and sway from side to side.

It’s so packed in the house

that there’s hardly any room for more worshippers,

and so the latecomers stand outside,

eagerly waiting for the next service.

All three services are packed with eager worshippers

eager to hear the life-giving Word;

not an inch of pew is uncovered.

Voices of the choir harmonize

with those of the rest of the congregation,

singing, “Haleluyia! Haleluyia! Haleluyia!”

as they all clap enthusiastically

and sway from side to side.

His children sing, His children dance,

His children raise their hands,

in praise of their Creator!

This is the day the LORD has made;

we will rejoice and be glad in it.

 

© Denis Kabi, 2011

 

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!!!

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The Recession: A Poem

The Recession: A Poem

by Denis Kabi

 

The recession was the worst

that the country had experienced in its history.

Every citizen was distressed

by the worsening economic situation.

The prices of basic food items had risen

to amounts that put them out of the reach

of the majority of the citizens.

The price of fuel was steadily rising,

and it seemed that people would soon be forced to walk

to their destinations

or use bicycles

or use animal-drawn carts to travel,

since only the wealthy could afford to fuel their cars.

People living in the countryside

could at least practice subsistence farming

and feed themselves and their families from the produce.

But people living in the city didn’t have adequate land

to establish farms,

and therefore needed lots of money

to buy everything they needed.

But money was increasingly becoming scarce.

The citizens became desperate.

Crime levels soared

and the frequency of violent crime increased,

and gradually the nature of the violent crimes

began to venture into sadism.

Criminals were not only contented

with robbing their victims of their valuables,

but they burnt their houses and cars

and took time to torture and rape

and humiliate their victims.

Government officials were as dumfounded by the economic crisis

as the rest of the citizens,

and all that they could do was make speeches

denying that there was a crisis in the country.

No one seemed to know what to do.

As the economic crisis deteriorated,

the citizens became more desperate,

and their desperation turned into apathy.

The living standards of the citizens became so bad

that a visitor to the country would mistake it

for a pre-colonial settlement.

There was no running water in the pipes of most households,

for the water supply company had gone under.

There was no electricity supply in most households,

since the companies that generated and supplied electricity

had gone under as well.

The government went bankrupt

and could not pay the salaries of the civil servants

– the police, the military, the teachers, the doctors,

the foreign embassy staff, and other workers.

Nothing was working the way it was supposed to work.

What to do?

Whenever I hold back the rain

or send locusts to eat up the crops

or send an epidemic on my people,

 if they pray to Me and repent

and turn away from the evil they have been doing,

then I will hear them in heaven,

forgive their sins,

 and make their land prosperous again.

 

© Denis Kabi, 2011

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September Skies: A Poem

September Skies: A Poem

by Denis Kabi

Woolly white clouds float across the vast blue sky,

like a flock of sheep grazing peacefully

in an expansive pastureland.

They must have a leader,

that flock in the sky,

a Shepherd who guides them;

who tells them where to go,

and where not to go;

a Shepherd who cares for them,

and protects them from harm;

a Shepherd who provides for their every need.

Some of the clouds float in one direction,

following the Shepherd,

but some float in diverging directions,

following the whirlwind.

The clouds that follow the Shepherd remain whole,

regardless of the changing weather conditions,

but the clouds that follow the whirlwind disintegrate

and are slowly fading away,

with no hope of redemption.

A whirlwind is blowing across the vast blue sky,

like a twister it strives to pull every cloud

into its spinning chaos.

Many clouds are drawn away from their course

and into the dark heart of the whirlwind.

Even the clouds that are following the Shepherd

are not spared from the pull of the whirlwind.

The chaos of the whirlwind is so enticing,

hardly is its power to destroy noticeable.

Some of the clouds float in one direction

following the Shepherd,

but some are sucked

into the dark heart of the whirlwind.

The clouds that follow the shepherd remain whole,

regardless of the changing weather conditions,

but the clouds that follow the whirlwind disintegrate

and are slowly fading away,

with no hope of redemption.

When I look at the sky,

which You have made,

at the moon and the stars,

which You set in their places

– what is man, that You think of him;

mere man, that You care for him?

 

© Denis Kabi, 2011

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Untitled: A Poem

Untitled: A Poem

by Denis Kabi

 

He didn’t have much;

didn’t go far in school;

didn’t have a job;

didn’t seem to have a future.

He was a child of the street,

conceived and born in a dark alley,

and reared by the ways of the world.

He never knew his mother,

or father, or siblings, or relatives.

He had no friends.

He trusted no one;

and no one trusted him.

Whenever he walked along the streets of the big city,

people would instinctively move away from him;

and he too learned to avoid meeting these people.

They seemed weird,

the men and women who walked the streets

of the big city by day.

Their children seemed weird too.

The people of the big city were like hybrids

of something bad and something worse.

They seemed eager to embrace modernity

and the Western culture with one hand,

and yet on their other hand they inexorably clang

to the deep roots of their traditional culture.

None of them suspected that they were at crossroads

– going through a transition,

moving away from tradition,

into something without tradition.

Definitely something potent was going on in the big city.

A chapter of history was drawing to a close, it seemed;

and a new chapter was about to begin.

The child of the street kept walking

along the crowded pavement beside the long street,

a plastic bottle with a measure of leather glue in it

dangling from the corner of his mouth.

He clang to the myth

that the intoxicating fumes of the leather glue

would subdue his hunger pangs.

Despite the leather glue,

his body still needed nutritious food;

he still needed clean drinking water;

he still needed decent clothes;

he still needed a decent place to live.

As he walked along the pavement,

he came across a street preacher,

who was standing on the edge of the pavement,

screaming his voice hoarse,

an open copy of the Bible in his hand

from which he was reading a passage.

As Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives,

 the disciples came to Him in private.

“Tell us when all this will be,” they asked,

“and what will happen to show that it is the time

for your coming and the end of the age.”

Jesus answered, “Watch out,

and do not let anyone fool you.

 Many men, claiming to speak for me,

 will come and say, ‘I am the Messiah!’

and they will fool many people.

You are going to hear the noise of battles close by

 and the news of battles far away;

but do not be troubled.

Such things must happen,

but they do not mean that the end has come.

Countries will fight each other;

kingdoms will attack one another.

There will be famines and earthquakes everywhere.

All these things are like the first pains of childbirth.

Then you will be arrested

and handed over to be punished and be put to death.

All mankind will hate you because of Me.

 Many will give up their faith at that time;

 they will betray one another and hate one another.

Then many false prophets will appear and fool many people.

Such will be the spread of evil

 that many people’s love will grow cold.

 But whoever holds out to the end will be saved.

And this Good News about the Kingdom will be preached

 through all the world for a witness to all mankind;

and then the end will come.”

The child of the street stopped on the pavement

and wistfully gazed at the humble street preacher,

and on the child’s periphery vision

he could see the people of the city

who were disinterestedly hurrying past the man.

When the preacher finished preaching,

he closed his Bible and closed his eyes

and bowed his head and prayed

for the people of the big city…in Jesus name.

After this, the man walked away

and disappeared into the sea of humanity.

The child of the street resumed his walk

along the crowded pavement beside the long street,

and removed the bottle of glue from his mouth

and thought deeply about what the street preacher had said.

As the child walked,

he couldn’t help but ask himself,

“Am I ready for the end of the age?”

 

© Denis Kabi, 2011

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My Beloved Tome: A Poem

My Beloved Tome: A Poem

by Denis Kabi

 

My father gave it to me

many years ago when I was a lad.

It was a gift,

a gift that I treasured then,

and still treasure now.

It is bound by a hard cover

which is navy-blue in colour

and on its front cover, shiny gold-coloured letters

are engraved spelling out the title of it

– Good News Bible.

I thank my father for giving me this book.

I thank my Father for blessing me with His Word.

The first day that I opened it,

I marvelled at the whiteness of the delicate pages,

and the sharp contrast of the white paper

with the rich black ink

of its densely printed text and illustrations

and ancient maps.

The line drawings are comical

and sometimes make me laugh,

for they are like cartoons.

I began to worry about the book’s cover,

concerned that it would get worn

from constant handling,

and the gold-coloured  engravings on its cover

would  chip away.

To prevent this occurrence,

I decided to find manila paper

to cover the book with.

But I realized that the manila paper was not suitable,

since it got worn along the spine

and edges of the book due to constant use

and thus was exposing the original dark-blue cover.

That’s when I looked for a sheet of transparent polythene

and used scissors to cut it

to the right size of the cover,

and then used clear cellotape

to seal the hard cover neatly.

The polythene does not wear out easily

and it has preserved and protected the book’s cover

and its delicate title engravings

for many years now.

At the top of the spine of this book

there is a bookmark attached to it,

and it’s made of dark blue woven threads.

It’s very delicate and neat.

I used to slip it between the pages that I was reading

so that I could continue reading

from where I’d left off.

But I soon switched to other types of bookmarks,

mostly those made of hard paper.

I did this not only to preserve the integrity

of the original dark blue woven bookmark,

but also because I needed to bookmark several sections

of the books that I was reading contemporaneously.

Over the years the pure white pages

have gradually acquired a creamish shade,

but the blackness of the text hasn’t changed at all.

From the preface pages I read

that the New Testament of this particular English translation

was published in 1966,

and the Old Testament in 1976.

The New Testament was originally written in Greek language,

while the Old Testament was originally written

in Hebrew and Aramaic languages.

Apparently a group of translators prepared this translation,

and drafts of it were sent to prominent theologians

and Biblical scholars

and English-speaking Bible societies for review.

The translators’ task was to express the meaning

of the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts

in a manner and form that can be easily understood

by readers who use English as a means of communication.

In this translation the Hebrew name for God

– Jehovah –

is represented as LORD.

According to the preface,

the precise meaning of some sections

of the original text is in dispute.

Some of the text can be understood in two or more ways.

The chapters and verses in this translation are numbered

following the traditional system

of major English translations of the Bible.

I trust that the translators were faithful in their work.

There are thirty-nine books in the Old Testament

and twenty-seven books in the New Testament.

Millions of copies of the Bible

translated into many languages of the world

– and sold at an affordable price,

or given out free of charge –

are distributed in many parts of the world each year.

I’m glad and I feel honoured to have a copy.

“In the beginning God created the universe,”

is the first line of Genesis,

the first book of the Bible.

Prophet Moses probably wrote Genesis.

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with everyone,”

is the last line of Revelation,

the last book of the Bible.

Apostle John wrote Revelation.

The most famous Bible verse is probably John 3:16:

”For God so loved the world

that He gave His only begotten Son,

that whoever believes in Him

should not perish but have everlasting life. “

Who really wrote the Bible?

Why was it written?

And why should I read it?

Was it Moses and the other prophets and apostles

whose names are written in the titles of the books?

Or was it God’s Spirit which spoke

through these anointed men and women?

Was it written simply as a historical account

of the ancient people of Israel?

Should I simply read it as a fine work of literature?

“All Scripture is inspired by God

and is useful for teaching the truth,

rebuking error, correcting faults,

and giving instruction for right living,

so that the person who serves God

may be fully qualified and equipped

to do every kind of good deed,”

it is written.

“Before the world was created,

 the Word already existed;

He was with God,

and He was the same as God.

From the very beginning the Word was with God.

Through Him God made all things;

not one thing in all creation was made without Him.

The Word was the source of life,

and this life brought light to mankind.

The light shines in the darkness,

and the darkness has never put it out,”

it is written.

“The word of God is alive and active,

sharper than any double-edged sword.

It cuts all the way through,

to where soul and spirit meet,

to where joints and marrow come together.

It judges the desires and thoughts of man’s heart,”

it is written.

“He did this to teach you that man

must not depend on bread alone to sustain him,

but on everything that the Lord says,”

it is written.

“Do not deceive yourselves by just listening to His word;

instead, put it into practice.

Whoever listens to the word

but does not put it into practice

is like a man who looks in a mirror

and sees himself as he is.

 He takes a good look at himself

 and then goes away

and at once forgets what he looks like.

But whoever looks closely into the perfect law

 that sets people free,

who keeps on paying attention to it

and does not simply listen and then forget it,

but puts it into practice

– that person will be blessed by God

 in what he does,”

it is written.

“My word is like the snow and the rain

that come down from the sky to water the earth.

They make the crops grow

and provide seed for planting and food to eat.

So also will be the word that I speak

 – it will not fail to do what I plan for it;

it will do everything I send it to do,”

it is written.

 “Happy are those who reject the advice of evil men,

 who do not follow the example of sinners

 or join those who have no use for God.

Instead, they find joy in obeying the Law of the Lord,

and they study it day and night.

 They are like trees that grow beside a stream,

that bear fruit at the right time,

and whose leaves do not dry up.

 They succeed in everything they do,”

it is written.

“Your word is a lamp

to guide me and a light for my path.

I will keep my solemn promise

to obey your just instructions.

My sufferings, Lord, are terrible indeed;

keep me alive, as you have promised.

Accept my prayer of thanks, O Lord,

and teach me your commands.

 I am always ready to risk my life;

 I have not forgotten your law.

Wicked men lay a trap for me,

but I have not disobeyed your commands.

Your commandments are my eternal possession;

they are the joy of my heart.

I have decided to obey your laws

until the day I die,”

it is written.

“Earth and sky, hear my words,

listen closely to what I say.

My teaching will fall like drops of rain

and form on the earth like dew.

My words will fall like showers on young plants,

like gentle rain on tender grass.

I will praise the name of the Lord,

and His people will tell of His greatness,”

it is written.

 “Heaven and earth will pass away,

but my words will never pass away,”

it is written.

Once a person reads the words of this book,

it becomes clear that the Bible is not an ordinary book.

The Bible is a living Word,

unlike other books

which are simply paper, ink and glue.

I thank God for blessing me with His Word;

this copy that I hold in my hands of the beloved tome.

What hope would a sinner like me have without it?!

 

© Denis Kabi, 2011

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The Meadows of Seba: A Poem

The Meadows of Seba: A Poem

by Denis Kabi

 

After the shout of command by the archangel,

and after the last trumpet sounded

and the believers were gathered up in the clouds.

After the first half of the tribulations,

and after the reaping of the earth’s harvest

and the second half of the tribulations passed.

After Babylon fell,

and after the wedding of the Lamb and His Bride,

and after the Rider on the white horse

threw the beast and the false prophet into the lake of fire.

After the kings of the earth and their armies

were killed by the sword that comes out of the mouth

of the One who was riding the white horse.

After the thousand years of Christ’s reign,

and after the Devil was thrown into the lake of fire,

and after the final judgment at the great white throne,

the earth and heaven were seen no more.

The Holy City, the New Jerusalem, came down out of heaven.

“Now God’s home is with mankind!

He will live with them,

and they shall be His people.

God Himself will be with them,

and He will be their God.

He will wipe away all tears from their eyes.

There will be no more death,

no more grief or crying or pain.

The old things have disappeared,”

said the One who sits on the throne.

“And now I make all things new!”

Then Christ the King came to rule God’s kingdom

forever and ever.

In the land of Seba,

east of the Nile,

there are great meadows,

grasslands sprawling luxuriantly

over the rolling green hills and plains.

A young man strides across the expansive glade of grass,

a woven reeds basket clutched in his hand

as he goes to pick fruits from the lush fruit trees

in the valleys of the green hills.

The glory of God shines over everything.

The Lamb is a lamp that shines over everything.

As the young man walks,

he grins broadly and waves at and greets lots of people

whom he meets on the way

going about their daily business.

“Habari gani!” he says.

“Mzuri sana!” the people grin

and wave back at him happily as they work in their fields.

Some are harvesting grain from flourishing grain fields;

some are picking fruits from verdant vineyards;

some are herding their great herds of healthy livestock;

some are building beautiful houses;

while others are simply relaxing

under the shades of mighty trees

socializing with contented friends and family.

Everybody is joyful and healthy,

and even the elderly are as strong as oxen.

A bunch of gleeful children run past the young man,

playing with a ball.

As the children kick the ball over the soft green grass,

a baby dinosaur with scaly green skin

and as tall as a full grown giraffe,

chases after the same ball,

and kicks it farther over the expanse of land.

The young man stops and turns to marvel

at the sight of the baby dinosaur playing with the ball.

And he can’t help but smile

when the bevy of gleeful kids

scream in exaltation as they all chase after the ball

and try to kick it farther  away.

Suddenly a gargantuan tyrannosaurus rex,

greyish and scaly and as tall as a mature oak tree,

emerges from behind a clutch of trees.

It is peacefully grazing on the lush meadow

and once in a while it raises its head

to keep an eye on the baby dinosaur

which is still engaged in play with the human children.

The young man supposes that the large dinosaur

is the baby dinosaur’s mother,

and she’s keeping an eye on it

so that the baby doesn’t wander to far away from her.

Across the expansive hilly landscape

various types of dinosaurs

graze peacefully on the meadow  like cattle,

their tall sinewy necks occasionally rising into the air

like tree trunks,

with their equally large babies browsing peacefully

beside their mothers’ huge legs.

Flying dinosaurs flit across the sky,

their enormous leathery wings stretched out

reminiscent of bat wings.

All kinds of species of insects buzz all over the place

and all kinds of species of birds sing

and fly and perch on the leafy groves.

The young man resumes his journey to the valley

to collect fruits from the eclectic variety of fruit trees.

He walks by a pride of lions,

comprising of a couple of stout males

with thick bushy manes over their necks,

and several sturdy females

and many plump and playful cubs,

all grazing as cattle do.

A large cobra crosses his path,

its sleek scaly body as thick as a lamp post.

He briefly stops to allow it to pass.

The cobra too stops and raises its tiny head

– three feet from the ground –

and puffs up its colourfully patterned hood,

and takes a moment to inquisitively gaze at him.

He steps forward and stretches out his hand

and gently strokes the snake’s puffed up hood,

the way one would a pet cat.

Its tongue darts in and out of its mouth severally

before the snake lowers its head

and resumes its journey across the meadow.

He grins and watches the snake as it goes,

before he too resumes his journey.

Soon he comes to a crystal clear stream

and stumbles on herds

of lovely black-and-white striped zebras,

and brownish gazelles,

and brown-and-white patterned giraffes,

and comical horned wildebeests,

and huge rhinos and elephants,

all converged at the banks of the stream to drink.

A baby elephant splashes across the stream towards him

and uses its trunk to snatch the woven reeds basket

from his grasp and runs off with it.

The young man chases after the young elephant

as its mother raises her trunk from the stream

and deposits the end of it into her mouth

and empties all the water into her mouth,

and watches her calf taking off

with the young man’s basket.

The spectacle soon draws the attention of a baby zebra,

a baby gazelle, a baby giraffe,

a baby wildebeest, and a baby rhino,

all of which give chase to the fleeing baby elephant

and the young man rushing after it.

“Hey! Bring my basket back!”

he calls repeatedly after the baby elephant.

Though it has big floppy ears,

the baby elephant doesn’t hear nor heed his calls.

The young man is startled to see the pack of baby animals

which he’d left at the stream

rush past him and catch up with the elephant calf

and start tagging at the basket.

Each of the young animals strives to grab the basket

using their mouths

and ran off with it, as the others give chase,

eager to snatch it and ran off with it.

“Don’t tear my basket!” the young man cautions,

but the young animals blithely ignore him.

Past the fruit trees in the valley they rush,

and up the grassy slopes of the undulating green hills,

all chasing after each other

– squealing, chattering, and bellowing noisily.

“Hey! Come back!” he yells after the bevy of young animals

who’ve run far ahead of him,

playing with the basket,

snatching it from each other,

and running farther away down the opposite side of the hills

and over the vast expanse of meadow land.

“Now look what you’ve done!” he calls out

and draws to a stop, panting.

“I’ve gone past the valley

where the fruit trees that I wanted to pick fruits from are!”

The playful young animals don’t even hear him.

They keep chasing after each other,

drawing farther and farther away.

“Lord, how do I get my basket back

from those baby animals?” he prays quietly.

A flock of flying dinosaurs are flitting across the sky

high  up above him

and one of them breaks away from the flock

and flies down and lands

beside the astonished young man.

The dinosaur is as tall as a one storey building

and its wings twice as expansive.

When the dinosaur crouches

to allow him to climb over its broad shoulders,

he realizes that the Lord has answered his prayer.

He thanks the Lord

and then climbs onto the dinosaur’s shoulders

and it immediately starts beating its mighty wings

and flits up into the blue sky.

Just then, the young man looks down

and he sees a herd of large animals

running after the baby animals,

trumpeting and chattering and bellowing.

He sees that they are the animals he’d seen earlier

at the stream drinking,

and they are now calling for their babies to return to them.

The flying dinosaur which the young man is riding on

high up in the sky

finally catches up with the fleeing young animals.

The dinosaur flits down and lands in front of their path,

blocking it and startling the baby animals

who then drop the reed basket and turn

and run back to their  mothers

who are more than glad to get them back.

The animals and their young then disperse

in various directions as they browse on the succulent plants,

and drink from the network of springs flowing over the land.

The young man climbs down

from the shoulders of the dinosaur

and pats it gently on the leg

and grins up at its big face and thanks it for the ride.

He watches with awe

as the dinosaur beats its mighty wings

and flits up into the sky and heads in the direction

that the flock that it was flying with went.

Finally the young man picks up his basket

and walks back to the valley to pick fruits.

He fills up his basket with juicy multi-coloured fruits.

As he walks across the meadow,

back to his home,

he meets with a group of people

travelling towards the north,

their horse-drawn carts heavy with goods.

They’re animatedly chatting amongst themselves,

describing their exciting journey to the city of Jerusalem,

where they’re going to worship God Almighty and the Lamb,

and present their offerings.

The young man greets them,

and they greet him back.

“Can I come along?” he asks.

“Yes, if you want to!” they say.

So he walks beside them

and places his basket of fruits over the goods

on one of the horse-drawn carts.

They swiftly cross over the meadows of Sudan and Egypt

and finally come into Israel.

From afar they behold the city of Jerusalem.

The city shines like a precious stone,

like a jasper, clear as crystal.

It has great high walls with twelve gates

and with twelve angels in charge of the gates.

On the gates are written the names

of the twelve tribes of the people of Israel.

There are three gates on each side;

three on the east, three on the south,

three on the north, and three on the west.

The city’s wall is built on twelve foundation stones,

on which are written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

The city is perfectly square,

as wide as it is long.

The city itself is made of pure gold,

as clear as glass.

The foundation stones of the city wall are adorned

with all kinds of precious stones.

The twelve gates are twelve pearls;

each gate is made from a single pearl.

The street of the city is of pure gold,

transparent as glass.

The young man and the group of people

that he’d travelled with go into the city

and fall down to worship Lord God Almighty and the Lamb,

and thereafter offer their gifts.

Multitudes of angels are singing in praise and honour

to Lord God Almighty and the Lamb.

The city has no need of the sun or the moon to shine on it,

because the glory of God shines on it,

and the Lamb is its light.

As the young man and his group leave the city,

they see multitudes of people

from the nations that are saved,

and the kings of the earth

bringing the glory and honour of their nations

into the city.

As the young man and the group of people

that he’d travelled with pass through the city,

they see the river of the water of life,

sparkling like crystal,

and proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb

and flowing down the middle of the city’s street.

On each side of the river is the tree of life,

which bears fruit twelve times a year,

once each month;

and its leaves are for the healing of the nations.

The young man and his group of friends

drink from the river of the water of life,

and eat fruit from the tree of life,

and then journey across this earthly paradise

back to their respective homes

in the meadows of Seba.

 

© Denis Kabi, 2011

 

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