Archive for May, 2011

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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