Recently I picked up the “Essential Gnostic Scriptures” book by Willis Barnstone and Marvin Meyer. The book collects various texts they feel are essential (which I admit is a good selection) but the last part of the book features song excerpts from various traditions. I wanted to share one of them. This is titled “A Poor Man Taken Far” taken from ritual texts of the Mandaean Gnostics. I will probably share some more of these songs in future posts as I really like what they have to say.
A Poor Man Taken Far
I am a poor man from the fruit.
They took me from far away. I am far.
I am a poor man whom life spoke to.
I am far. The light beings took me away.
They carried me here from the good
to where the wicked live.
They installed me in the world of the wicked
where all is malice and fire.
I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t want to come
to this awful place.
By my strength and light I suffer through
this misery. By illumination and praise.
I remain a stranger in their world.
I stand among the wicked like a child without a father.
Like a fatherless child, an untended fruit.
I hear the voice of the seven planets.
They whisper. They say among themselves,
“Where does this alien come from?
He doesn’t speak like us.”
I didn’t listen to their speech raging against me.