He came in out of the whirlwind that blew across the street
With a guitar on his back and bells tied to his feet
He lit himself a cigarette and blew smoke from his mouth
From the redness of his eyes, you could tell he was from the south.
Somewhere far away from here in a place that is far down
The hill in the hole of Hell hidden far beneath the town
As the wind sweeps the hair that droops into his eyes
People begin to cast Him in the lead role of their lies.
He coughed and crossed the road and asked about a room
He was mysterious like the grave and as stolid as the tomb
A preacher said, with a bitter tongue, “You are not welcome here.
No vacancies for fallen men; you’d better disappear.”
“Fair enough,” the drifter said, “I can sleep beneath the stars
Of the evening, of the morning; I serenade them with guitars
The songs I sing are not all clean, but they don’t mask my face
Unlike you who preaches love, giving prejudice in its place.”
The preacher quoted scriptures with the Bible in his hand
Spoke of Jesus, spoke of angels, and their spiritual demand
He cried, “I know you well, stranger; I know the game you’re in
You’re a bastion of damnation; you are cataclysm and sin.”
“Don’t quote the book to me,” spoke the drifter with a grin
“I know it front to back, how it begins and how it ends.
You think you know Christ, but you are not his friend.
You’re just another slick-mouthed talker who got it wrong, again.”
The drifter out of the down country stared long at the preacher
His eyes saw past the guise that was covering this creature
A false prophet from the Pisces Age who claimed to be a teacher
The deceit upon his face, his most defining feature.
Preacher said, “You are but a heathen full of arrogance and pride.”
To which the drifter shook his head and emphatically replied,
“You are wrong; I just don’t push enlightenment aside
It is your heart full of hate; your mind where ignorance resides.”
The preacher started screaming and the drifter turned away
Saying, “I don’t have the patience for minds that are astray
When you want to learn to listen, come sit next to me
Over by the road that can lead to destiny.”
Then he took a seat neath the shade of drooping trees
Where forbidden fruit grew abundant on the edges by the leaves
And took out his guitar and sang in harmony with the breeze
Hymns of ancient knowledge not everyone believes.
Then the world grew quiet and the dust kicked to the sky
The watchers witnessed the radiation of the gold light in his eye
He sang, “I am He who walks the Night; I have come to bring you Light
I throw sparks into the shadows and open shades on blinded sight.”
I call you to rebel; I can lead you to revolution
But you must be willing to embrace the truth for evolution
I will show you what it is to live for your own mind
And leave the lies and servitude of devotion far behind.”
The Preacher tried to deafen all the people to this song
But the words had been resting in their hearts far too long
The drifter said, “Don’t swallow this man’s words; they are all lies
Perverted prophecies and heresies, deceptions and false alibis.”
Be gone, vile merchant, peddling your charade
Know that your hour’s over, your day is dead–times fade
Now the light will rise on wings of the fallen flame
People will know it by the meaning of His long banished name.”
The drifter watched as the piousness diminished from his face
The preacher then began to see that he wasn’t in his place
Strangers now looked on him as if his bones were bare
His soul was in the open–a skeleton standing there.
Then the drifter stood up and the light began to shine
He said, “A new days rises and this new dawn is mine.
Take your hatred, your enslavement, and vanish in the wind
I have not returned to be turned away again.”
And the song played on; the tune hung in the air
The Light of Darkness began to shine on some who stood there
And others disappeared with the preacher in the dust
They were like robots in the rain whose minds began to rust.
The only fire in the world came down from the sun
Illuminating the countryside, revealing roads to everyone
Some turned back to shadow, others chose to rise
But the choice was theirs, in the end, to hear truth or live with lies.
And the drifter, with his guitar, smoked another cigarette
Remembering to spread his wings and blow away regret
The people had not forgotten, they awaited his new song
As centuries passed and empires crumbled, they had waited far too long.