Listen to me now and heed my voice;
I am a madman, alone, screaming in the wilderness,
but listen now.
Listen to me now, and if I say
that black is black, and white is white, and in between lies gray,
I have no choice.
Does a madman choose his words? They come to him,
the moon’s illuminations, intimations of the wind,
and he must speak.
But listen to me now, and if you hear
the tolling of the judgment bell, and if its tone is clear,
then do not tarry,
but listen, or cut off your ears, for I Am weary.
Published by Penny Dreadful, The HyperTexts, the Anthologise Committee and Nonsuch High School for Girls (Surrey, England)
Also published by Michael R. Burch writing as Immanuel A. Michael and Kim Cherub
Keywords/Tags: Listen, heed, prophet, crying, wilderness, voice, prophecy, black, white, gray, moon, wind, speak, speaking, speech, instruction, teaching, warning, omen, illuminations, intimations, ears, hear, judgment, bell, toll, tolling, peal, pealing, tone, I, Am
Note: The poet as a “madman, alone, screaming in the wilderness” is likened to John the Baptist, foretelling a momentous “second coming”: his own, with no other Messiah in sight.