The Pilgrim and The Mongrel

Knight of Cups (Terence Malick, 2015)

The devil looks down

At the motley clan

And he smiles a crooked smile.

They’re stumbling, they’re faltering,

They’re marching single file

Across the winding, narrow track.

One lowly Pilgrim leaves the pack

And stands alone, still.

He wants to rest awhile

Just for a little while

Under the devil’s laughing eyes

And his crooked, yellow smile.

The devil releases his loyal mutt,

Acedia is its name,

It’s a Mongrel of the mangy sort,

Secreting guilt and shame.

Acedia is a lazy breed

And It does not pursue:

It waits upon the Pilgrim,

Just as it waits for you.

The Pilgrim lurches, moves again

And Acedia begins to cry

A piteous howl that cracks the sky.

The Pilgrim tries to run away,

But one can’t run on feet of clay,

And his mind is dragged to  Things Beneath.

The Sword of the Spirit stays in its sheath,

Blunted, rusted, from disuse

Stained orange-red from misuse,

As a weapon of Condemnation.

The Helmet of Salvation

that rested upon The Pilgrim’s mind

is lost, missing,


Acedia howls,

Howls, howls, howls

Until The Hound of Heaven growls

Closing The Mongrel’s gaping maw

In The Name of Grace and Law.

Grace from above, Grace rediscovered,

The Pilgrim’s Helmet  is recovered

And he begins to move again:

Still afraid, still in pain,

But not alone, not forlorn:

The Path ahead is cruciform.


This one comes from a myriad of influences, including Terence Malick’s “Knight of Cups”, Kirkegaard’s “Fear and Trembling”, Francis Thompson’s “The Hound of Heaven” and, of course, Philippians 3: 12-16.


via Daily Prompt: Doubt


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