The Baptist


We belong to communities both you and I.

My choice was to leave mine

and for this I was to die.

Why would I do such a reckless thing,

to follow the finger of fate?

My God gave my parents a sign;

my birth at a time that was late,

for this I, John, became a herald for our King.


I remember my youth most vividly!

Zaccariah my Father and Elizabeth my mother

nurtured my body and gave me security.

They said I should my childhood enjoy,

for my cousin and I would soon be grown

and will spend many hours alone.

In many ways we were brother to brother

and soon we would no longer be boys.


Time passed sweetly and like the wild honey

was enjoyed while I played and I learned.

My parents supported and encouraged me.

I grew to appreciate God’s world and its intricacy,

and I was at home in the fields and the hills.

I tasted the bounty of wild things; insect and plant.

I stayed with many friends and we played

and soon the time came for me to become a man.


The hills were my place under the stars.

I spent many hours understanding the earth.

The creatures that freely roamed came.

They were my company and they were my audience.

On the day of my manhood I left my home

to join a band of ascetics who praised the Lord.

To them the task to free Israel from Rome,

by prayer if possible, if not, by the sword.



I found discipline in close quarters where we hid,

away from the persecutors whom we fled.

The caves of the Sinai proved shelter enough

and the valleys of Gidron were a fortress to us.

My days were spent learning the ancient words,

the prophecies from the Toràáfrom centuries before.

To these my mind rose as to an open door

and to me the picture came of He who would save.

An angel of the Lord came to awaken my mind.

Soon I was chastising the wayward and blind.

Blind that is to the kingdom’s new dawning,

promised to come on a new spring morning.

The words I heard were very clear

to announce the coming of a Saviour.

‘Repent Ye, O sinner, for you will be judged.

The day of your deliverance will be announced.’


Although I studied with learnéd men

my revelation from the Lord came.

There were those who tried to influence me

but their way was not the way it would be.

I gave up my sword and made my shield

the truth of the scripture and the open field.

Those who came to listen gave me their trust

and stood as the barrier between me and the unjust.


Herod feared the truth of my words

for the finger of the law he could not evade.

I was the only one who would voice his sin

and from this he feared the peoples’ uprising.

The Royal guard kept watch on me

and with the priests they tested my sincerity.

I did not condemn this man to his death,

by his own action he condemned his own flesh.



The words of the psalms are sweet to the ear.

But for many the meaning is not clear.

Judah and Israel for many years wept.

Their children in ignorance fitfully slept.

Hope had come often and soon disappeared.

False prophets had cheated and misled.

The sceptics heckled and wanted gold,

a penurious reward to buy what they sold.


The Lord had promised our forefathers much.

The truth of the covenant and his healing touch.

Given to Abraham at the awakening of time.

A nation who would be raised upon high.

He was promised a continuing line

of heirs who would be privileged by a sign

that God’s love is greater than what you may buy

and redemption would be open to all of mankind.


My cry was as one of those in the wilderness.

The lament of Israel and Judah.

Many of the twelve tribes had fallen far

and for them a penance was useless.

The Lord deemed that the penitent be clean,

that their sin be washed in river and stream,

and as empty vessels worthily prepared

to receive the grace of His Son, our Lord.


By the day break I served all who came.

I prayed to our heavenly Lord,

and with strength in my arm,

their bodies were dipped,

to wash away all that was unclean.

In the manner of Aaron I prepared

by fasting and prayer as I was taught

purifying my body, my mind and soul.



I broke my fast at morn’s early dawning,

fed by the bounty of the desert garden.

I did not want for anything;

I was filled and able to meet my calling.

The words I spoke carried the truth

and each day that I preached gave me relief

that God would grant to those who had belief

a rebirth in the spirit of His Word.


The Christ, the Lamb of God came to me

at the River Jordan near Bethany.

I knew Him at once for the Holy Son

and by His presence all Nature spoke as one.

He asked for me to baptise Him

and I, unworthy as I am completed the immersion.

The sky opened and in brilliant hues

a voice came down to the Earth and proclaimed the news!

“This is My  Son in whom I am well pleased!”


June 6th. 1997 © Will George


Will George Poet