A Parallel Parable

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Once upon a time in the ancient middle east their lived a wise and wealthy king named Solomon. His father, David, had been the first to truly unify the Hebrew tribes as a nation. He was heralded as a great social reformer and a political scourge to people vying for power positions. No one had a neutral opinion about David, he was either loved or despised.

David loved many women and when he came to die his sons rivaled violently for the crown. The young Solomon came into his inheritance: an unlikely candidate. Solomon was not the oldest, strongest, or most well maneuvered. His kingdom was established by the tearful pleas of his mother, a woman stolen out from under her murdered husband, a trusted leader in David’s military.

Solomon’s devotion was construction. His completion of the temple in Jerusalem solidified his national popularity enabling him to expand his opulent empire with taxes. The people were accustomed to giving their glad contribution to the temple construction, so they took little notice as their taxes slowly increased.

Solomon collected horses, foreign idols, women, and exotic animals. He was considered a great benefactor to entrepreneurship, connoisseur of the arts, and a philanthropist. Indeed, he instituted many successful social programs, and important world leaders sought his input for their own governments.

Solomon had success.

Little by little his collections and achievements tore the kingdom apart. As the incense burned on the idols’ pyre, his horses, animals, servants, and women multiplied while their was no end of construction work. Solomon’s house required increasingly more revenue to sustain it. Even with riches pouring in from foreign countries, the people grew weary of the burden on their income and they resented Solomon’s disrespect of their monotheistic heritage.

After Solomon’s death, his son Rehoboam, under the influence of his peer group, flaunted his intention to increase taxes and labor requirements, against the advise of his father’s counselors. The people threw rocks at Rehoboam’s foreman until he died. The working people who lived in the country succeeded from the union, rallying under a prominent construction worker named Jeroboam. A civil war began, as Judah’s metropolitan people went out to fight their rural cousins.

God intervened, telling everyone to go home. Thus the schism: Israel and Judah became separate nations until the deluging Assyrian empire swallowed up Israel and nearly drowned Judah.

Adapted from 1 Kings chapters 1 through 12

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Not Your Typical Father’s Day Poem

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A woman loves a ranging man

as ocean loves changing skies

but cannot abide his idle stance:

malcontented when he complies.

.

A woman is freed by a roguish man

whilst he is tamed by her,

he must be free of domestic hand

or home will quench his fire.

.

Better to conquer than be conquered:

cowed by nagging eyes;

better to adventure in the yonder

then to stay and be despised.

.

To stay in safety is to thereby die

as flame consumes it kindling

the only way to stay alive

is to rage against this dwindling.

.

So he maps out strange horizons

striving over the expanse

lonely occupant of the bed he lies in

while she yearns for his romance.

.

For woman loves the wild heart

untamed by time and money

a pirate spirit, a world apart,

resolute modus vivendi.

.

She loves that he’s unbroken,

and if she resists the urge to tame

will find his heart still open

for her to join his flame.

.

Her love becomes his wings

and his strength is multiplied

when she stops craving domestic things

and in his strength is satisfied.

.

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Cherohala Skyway

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These green mountains
are the bluest you’ve ever seen
falling into horizon
like a softly fading dream.
.
Rolling into distance
like a dragon unfurls its tail,
hiding his ancient pathways:
those quite curling trails.
.
They drop down into rapids
cold and slick and fresh
where silent sleeping Mountain
yawns her icy breath.
.
Follow the rain
to the heart of the hill.
Follow the Spirit
who blows where He wills,
.
And blink your brave eyes
with a resolute gleam,
for mountain rivers are cold
yet they also make you clean.
.
The cloud bound water rises.
It’s called away home
where it hails riders to return
wherever they roam,
.
Saying, “Lonesome is lonely,
and Alone is only free
when you’re soaring along side
massive mountaintop trees.
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