The Stranger

the stranger s

…Stephen Michael West died in the electric chair on Thursday night. Asked if he had any final words, Mr. West said he did.  “In the beginning God created man,” he began before breaking down into sobs.  Then:  “And Jesus wept.  That’s all.”
–Margaret Renkl, from “The Hypocrisy of Execution Day”, NY Times, August 20, 2019

Everybody’s talking at me. It’s the same old song.  Do Wah Diddy.  Ob-la-di, ob-la-da.  Knockin on heaven’s door.  Iko iko.  Thy Kingdom Come.

Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care? Who knows where the time goes?  Every day is a winding road.  Where the streets have no name.

Don’t you know I’m only human? I was hungry, just barely alive.

Here comes Mr. Tamborine Man, playing his song for me. I hear a symphony. “You will love again the stranger who was yourself.”  “Jesus loves you more than you will know.”

Woe woe woe.

He’s just a soul whose intentions are good: “All you need is love.”

Wouldn’t it be nice.

I gotta get out of this place.

Baby you can follow me down. The burning ring of fire.

Hello Darkness, my old friend.

Fly me to the moon.

the stranger close up s

Kim at dVerse gave us a phrase from Derek Walcott, “You will love again the stranger who was yourself,” to use in our Prosery this week.  I had started something completely different using phrases from mostly 60s songs when I read Margaret Renkl’s op-ed piece in the NY Times this morning.

The art is a Rorschach painting with embroidery (in progress).

I wrote this really quickly this morning, so I’ll probably keep coming back to edit it…

19 thoughts on “The Stranger

      1. It’s a shame that, as one of the comments said, morality is conflated with Christianity when they are two completely different things. But it’s a perfectly valid point that the most conservative, most religious states are the ones that bay for human blood. Look at history.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I don’t know whether Michael West was innocent or guilty, but I don’t believe the death penalty is the answer. We no longer have capital punishment in the UK, and I’m glad we don’t.
    I enjoyed identifying all the songs in your piece, Kerfe, and the way you wove them into your story. A tragic story, and ‘Hello Darkness, my old friend’ is a good choice for the penultimate sentence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kim. He was guilty of a horrible crime, and remorseful, evidently. Which is more than you can say for the way our governments and corporations act about the equally horrible crimes they commit. They don’t even get sent to jail.
      To claim to be Christian and support the Death Penalty means that you haven’t actually paid attention to the teachings of your religion, as the columnist points out. But even from a Humanist standpoint it doesn’t make sense.

      Liked by 1 person

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