Saul meanwhile uttered threats with every breath,
so eager was he to create much death
among all worshipers & followers
who deemed the ways of Christ fine harbingers.
The highest priest he found & soon addressed
with nothing more or less than a request
that letters to Damascus synagogues
demand complete repressive dialogues
to bring about the harshest of detentions
of folk who stuck to strange religious mentions.
He wanted all such people, of both genders,
to be enchained & brought as gross offenders
back to Jerusalem, where they might find
fit punishments for seeming maldesigned.
While near Damascus on that special task,
he saw from heaven flashings like a mask
for forces that apparently could rip
all sanctimony from each human quip;
that blinding light surrounded Saul so brightly
he stumbled hard while far from reconditely
a voice addressed him, thus: “O Saul, Saul, Saul,
why must you persecute me so I crawl
ungainlily away from proper paths?”
“Who are you, sir?” Saul asked, as if the wraths
behind that mighty question might undo
life’s every tendency to own a view.
The voice replied: “I’m Jesus, that same power
your persecutings seem to wish to sour!
Now rise, & travel cityward, & see
what firm instructions tell your soul to be.”
Saul then, with his companions, was struck dumb,
as that unbodied voice turned some nerves numb!
Saul rose from where he’d fallen, yet soon found
his eyesight seemed as vanished as firm ground.
His cohorts led him to Damascus, though
when there he spent three days unseeing so
he lacked an appetite for drink & food
& absolutely seemed in no fine mood.
Now, in Damascus, one devout believer
named ‘Ananias’ was the full receiver
of words from Jesus, speaking to him starkly
while shining in his vision far from darkly.
“Yes, Lord!” said Ananias eagerly,
to which Christ answered with great clarity:
“Go straight to Straight Street, to the very building
where Judas dwells, & then, with no great gilding,
seek Saul of Tarsus, who right now is praying
to me directly, since I have been saying,
precisely, that one Ananias soon
may come to touch him with such sorts of tune
as seem to send some signals that could cause
his seeing me as flesh with few real flaws.”
“But, Lord,” said Ananias rather loudly,
“folk very much insist that that man proudly
did ghastly things to many firm adherents
of yours & of your wondrous perseverance!
He lately had permission from high priests
to jail all souls who seemed to him such beasts
as dared to call upon your precious name
in search of some relief against life’s shame.”
The Lord, however, said: “Now quickly go,
since Saul I’ve chosen as the very foe
who’ll both to sundry Gentiles & to kings
do honor to my future prosperings
& also will for all of Israel
create an ambience that softens hell;
I’ll show him he must suffer for the sake
of my mere name & every earthly ache.”
So, Ananias went & met with Saul
&, laying hands on him, let these words fall:
“Dear Brother Saul, Lord Jesus, whom you made
strange contact with as if in some parade
upon a road where all appearances
would likely seem like interferences,
has sent me here, to help you soon regain
your now lost sight & utterly remain
a vessel of the Holy Spirit’s power”;
then, instantly, like petals from a flower
did fall from Saul’s hurt eyes whatever matters
had seemed to turn good vision into tatters.
He then arose & fully underwent
strong baptism, & found he was intent
on nourishments so multiple he might
have strength enough to taste no abject plight.
Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem
For several days then in Damascus Saul
stayed with believers & felt far from small;
he soon began to preach in synagogues,
commending Jesus as ‘containing cogs
both main & epicentral & the force
whose utter lordliness slew much remorse.’
The folk who heard his preachments were amazed
in view of ways he’d recently seemed crazed
beyond all bounds, as if life’s only goal
could be to swallow piety so whole
all firm believers in Jerusalem
to Jesus’ words might seem replete with phlegm
requiring harsh arrests & being brought,
in chains, to where high priests stayed vengeance-fraught.
Saul’s preaching, meanwhile, grew more powerful,
till no Damascus Jews seemed capable
of even slightly countering his claims
regarding Jesus’ Messianic fames;
one outcome had to be that in a while
some Jews became so wrathful toward Saul’s style
of suasiveness they plotted, ardently,
to murder him & crush his primacy.
They day & night stayed ultravigilant
outside the city gate, so virulent
was their full wish to snuff his total being;
yet, news had warned him of the plot then keying
on bloody prospects; so, true followers,
besides himself, of Christ were conjurers
who used some biggish basket for the end
of helping him nigh gracefully descend
directly from a crevice in the wall
that gave that city safety far from small.
When Saul had reached Jerusalem’s protections,
he strove to make some firm & fine connections
with strict believers; yet, he soon found out
that all such folk indwelt enormous doubt
amounting to much terror toward his ways.
Worlds seemed to show no lackings of dismays
regarding whether his proclaimed belief
could be believable, or might bode grief
of real immensity; then Barnabas
escorted him, with formal verve & class,
to meet with the apostles, & then spoke
of Saul’s apparently amazing stroke
of happenstance inclusive of his seeing
the Lord while, in a sense, intent on being
ensconced in old Damascus -- & of how
the Lord had had new concepts to endow.
Another mention Barnabas conveyed
let many know Saul recently had made
loud preachments in Damascus that implied
his wishing to see Jesus glorified.
Saul stayed with the apostles fervently
& in Jerusalem was company
whose preachings of the Lord resembled bliss.
Some Jews who spoke some Greek he did not miss
large opportunities to keep engaging
in such debates as might keep questions raging;
those selfsame Jews soon strove to murder him,
so vexed were they by all his godly vim.
When some believers heard of that clear threat,
they took him to Caesarea & set
some special course for him that would allow
his living back in Tarsus -- then & now
the very place in which he likely grew
strict attitudes that seemed to breed no view
inimical to glorious abiding;
the vibrant fledgling church reaped scant deriding
as through Judea & through Galilee,
& through Samaria, it seemed to see
successes rich enough to form real strengths
forever likely to possess deep lengths;
so many new believers in the Lord
felt awe-tinged fear, few moments seemed untoward,
& from the Holy Spirit came such hauntings
life tended to resemble endless jauntings.
Peter Heals Aeneas and Raises Dorcas
The great apostle Peter meanwhile went
from place to place & soon was quite intent
on visiting all converts in the town
of Lydda, on which much had seemed to frown;
when he encountered there one crippled man,
Aeneas, who for eight long years reran
the kinds of jeopardy forbidding breath
to do much else but mirror ghastly death,
he said to him: “Aeneas, Jesus’ powers
have healed you now & sent you countless hours
replete with gladness; so, you might begin
to move as freely as how some worlds spin!”
Indeed, Aeneas was healed instantly,
&, when the folk as an entirety
in Lydda & in Sharon had observed
Aeneas’s new striding, more might swerved
in favor of devoutness toward Christ’s way
of letting not much sorrow hold real sway.
In Joppa was a woman & believer
named ‘Tabitha’ (& often a receiver,
from plainest Greek, of the alternative
stark other naming ‘Dorcas’), who did live
so very kindly toward assorted souls,
her interactions could not hurt life’s goals;
she recently had fallen ill & perished,
& (as will happen toward a person cherished)
her body had been washed for burial
& in some upstairs room quite beautiful
been given some supposedly last viewings.
Believers who had gathered Peter’s doings
were then nearby, in Lydda, chose to send
two envoys with a message sure to tend
toward begging him directly into quickly
arriving & performing far from fickly.
Soon Peter’s mighty presence was in force
& had a chance to be the very source
that lent that upstairs room such wondrous form
as might appear to turn mere deadness warm.
The room was filled with widows deeply weeping
yet glad to demonstrate they still were keeping
the coats & other clothing Dorcas made
to help their lives endure & shine like jade;
insistently some words of Peter caused
those widows all to leave, & then he paused
to kneel & pray with visible devotion
&, turning (as if hewn from pure emotion),
said: “Tabitha, arise!” And, suddenly,
on glimpsing him with eyes as bright as glee,
she sat straight up; then Peter offered her
one hand of his & helped her, thus, to stir
quite vibrantly; &, soon thereafter, he
called in those widows, plus the panoply
of strong believers, & presented them --
now resurrected -- that same saintly gem.
The splendid news spread, nearly like wild fire,
through all of Joppa, till each world’s desire
seemed riveted on perfect worshiping.
In that fine town did Peter’s prospering
last rather long as he consistently
enjoyed the very rich felicity
of living with one Judas, whose main work
was tanning hides to leather with no quirk.