Ezekiel saw a wheel a-turning,
Way in the middle of the air,
A wheel within a wheel a-turning…
The gangly televangelist suffered
the insults of schoolmates,
but promises no rancour in the afterlife.
He still looks the geek – clumsy, heavy-headed,
bloated chin and a way of talking
with an auctioneer’s impatience and alarm.
He longs to dream the vision of beasts
with double wings, one set outstretched,
the other folded over their groins;
the spirit of the beasts caught in the centrifuge
of wheels interlocking, wheels turning and turning,
the spark of roaming eyes caught in the rims.
This is how God used to fill the sky:
touch red embers to the lips of prophets
and teach the naysayer penitence.
The televangelist is waiting, his body stiff
beside his snoring wife, the pale cilia on his skin,
alert antennae to catch every errant wind of faith.
from Wheels (Peepal Tree Press, 2011), © Kwame Dawes 2011, used by permission of the author and the publisher.