by Jeffrey Essmann
While back in Rome there was Tiberius (Whom Pliny called the gloomiest of men), In Galilee the deleterious King Herod plied his regimen. And Caiaphas was in Jerusalem, The highest of high priests, Installed by clever Roman stratagem (So Annas said, at least). And then, as Luke in his Evangel writes, The voice of God, dry as the desert wind, Bid John the wayward ways to set aright Of all those who had strayed and sinned. And as he baptized old Isaiah’s words Were dutifully fulfilled: The spirit’s path to God was undeterred And warring flesh was stilled.
Jeffrey Essmann is an essayist and poet living in New York. His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them America Magazine, Dappled Things, the St. Austin Review, U.S. Catholic, Grand Little Things and various venues of the Benedictine monastery with which he is an oblate. He is editor of the Catholic Poetry Room page on the Integrated Catholic Life website.