Broken Vessel Blues (Pillars of Fire and Cloud)

Cartoon by Robert Mankoff. First printed in The New Yorker

“And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.”

Exodus 13:21 (King James Version)

The Prophets are out of work

and only one can take the stage.

But his message goes unheard,

drowned out by fear and rage.


He wishes that there was a way to reach

the weary and calloused crowd.

To cut through the hate,

he wishes to reinstate

the Pillars of Fire and Cloud.


The placards  and banners clatter to the floor

when the revolution dies.

The Prophet wishes that he,

once again, could open the stagnant skies

but the power is not his to wield

and he feels a loss profound.

No signs of salvation

for this new generation,

no Pillars of Fire and Cloud.


So The Prophet abandons his calling

and turns his foresight to stocks.

So numb,  his soul is falling

and being dashed upon the rocks.


Years pass. The Profit is a rich man,

unconcerned by Things Above.

He’s shackled to a family that he’d rather ignore

and to a wife whom he’d rather not love.

He spends his nights awake,

for he can’t escape the sound

of the sweet, small voice that threatens to return

in a Pillar of Fire and Cloud.


So The Prophet regains his conviction,

and rekindles his Holy fire.

His words become weapons to convict and condemn

and tools to love and inspire.

His message is heard in the heavens,

and it echoes underground.

The Prophet is a madman, a zealot and king.

He’s a Pillar of Fire and Cloud.


I had Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen on the brain as I wrote this, and it began to take shape as a song. However, I am not a musician. It’s up to you to mentally add any musical accompaniment 🙂 .


2 thoughts on “Broken Vessel Blues (Pillars of Fire and Cloud)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s