Welcome to Melvin’s Epic Poems

 

 

 

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©One Dozen Men

(copyright 1991)

 

I

(Peter, James, John, Andrew)

 

Fightin’ and spittin’ and cussin’ and fishin

            That’s my kind of life.

I am a man and I don’t need a home

            And I don’t need a wife.

Just give me a net I can cast on the water.

I don’t need a son and I don’t need a daughter.

Just give me a boat and the air and the sea and I’m free.

 

We’re hardy sailors. We like to drink wine

            And tell our tales.

This is our life, because we were born

            With the wind in our sails.

Life is so grand. There’s nothing better.

Just get me wet and I want to get wetter.

I’m fightin’ and fishin’ and bein’ what I want to be.

 

 

We are brave sailors. We make our living

            Out on the sea.

We cast our nets out on the water,

            The wind at our lee.

There’s nothing like casting your nets with a wish,

And feeling the strain as they’re heavy with fish.

Just give us a boat and the air and the sea and we’re free.

 

 

We live our life out on the water

            We have no regrets.

We’ve never known any other smell,

            But the fish and the sweat.

We’re out on the water sun up to sun set.

We’re only happy when our feet are wet.

We’re manly men doing what manly men do.

 

(Narrator)

 

Then Jesus stepped up and they stopped their work

            As He asked them their names.

When they didn’t answer, He smile and said,

            “Andrew and James.”

“How do you know us?”  He said, “I’ve heard a lot.

I want you to take all that you’ve got,

Leave it behind and come go fishin’ with me.

 

 

Jesus walked on down by the shore,

            Next to the sea.

Until He met with James and John,

            Sons of Zebedee.

They said, “How could you want foul-mouths like us.

And Jesus answered, “It doesn’t matter to us.

Just come as you are and leave your old life behind.”

 

Next stop was Philip, who then ran to see

            Bartholomew,

And told him about Jesus. “He’s like no man

            I ever knew.”

“Can anything good come out of Galilee?”

“I don’t know, Bart. Why don’t you come and see.”

And Jesus said, “There’s not a lie in this man.” And Bart knew it was true.

 

At a wedding in Cana, He turned water to wine.

            Did they believe?

He healed a leper by forgiving his sins.

            Did they believe?

With all they saw, you’d think they would believe,

But Satan comes in to steal and deceive,

But Jesus keeps standing there, waiting, but one day He’ll leave.

 

A tax-collector, named Matthew, looked up and saw Jesus

            Standing in line.

Jesus said, “Follow me,” and Matthew stood up

            And left his old life behind.

Now, he had planned a party full of sinful stories.

Jesus said, “All have sinned and fallen short of glory.

Don’t cancel the party. In fact, I want you to give your testimony.”

 

II

(Matthew)

 

“I was a tax collector

            Got my money from the poor.

I was a thief, that didn’t have to

            Sneak inside the door.

People worry ‘bout the thief

            Getting in their home,

And stealing their possessions

            And leaving them alone.

When possessions start to own you,

            You’re in trouble, that’s for sure.

‘Cause when you get in that deep,

            Then there’s just one cure.

Join up with Jesus

            He will help you win the fight.

Now I side with Justice,

            Not a thief out in the night.

Now I follow Jesus.

            I am walking in the light,

Trying to save my brothers,

            Who are still out in the night.

Spread the Word of Jesus

            To the souls that are dead.

If you want to save the hungry,

            First they must be fed.

Is nobody worried

            ‘Bout the master thief  and foe?

That old liar and deceiver,

            Aren’t you worried ‘bout your soul?”

 

(Narrator)

 

“Why do you consort with all those sinful outcasts?”

            The Pharisees asked Jesus with a cold and icy blast.

“Only sick folks need a doctor,” Jesus answered.

“Not those who are well.

I’ve not come for the moral and respectable,

            But for those on their way to hell.

Which one of those are you?”

Jesus asked without a fuss.

The Pharisees were indignant.

            “How dare you look down your nose at us.

We’re pillars of our community,” they said,

            And Jesus just smiled at them.

“Pillars made of sand will fall and

            Their community will fall on top and crush them.”

The Pharisees turned and stormed away.

            They had never been so insulted.

But Jesus just got alone and prayed,

And with His Father, He consulted.

 

(Jesus)

 

“Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew,

            Thomas, Matthew, James the younger, Simon, and Judas Iscariot,

You are the twelve I have chosen.

You will be my lot.

You are my apostles

            To help me spread my Father’s Word

To a sad and hurting world,

            Who need the hope that you have heard.”

 

III

(Narrator)

 

One dozen men can be a mighty army.

            One dozen men can win the war.

One dozen men can win many battles,

            If they are led by the Lord.

One dozen men can spread the Words of Jesus.

            One dozen men can change the world.

One dozen men can melt the golden idols

            If they are led by the Lord.

One dozen men can beat a pathway to glory.

            One dozen men can bring light into the dark

One dozen men can soar on wings as eagles,

            If they are led by the Lord.

One dozen men can lead into battle.

            One dozen men with the armor of God.

One dozen men can defeat the master liar,

            If they are led by the Lord.

 

They are just average men,

Trying to fulfill a holy plan.

They make mistakes and fall,

But with the help of Jesus, they walk tall.

 

IV

(Bartholomew)

 

Jesus was preaching to the multitude,

When they all took a hankerin’ for some food.

He took a small boy’s fish and bread,

And with it five thousand people were fed.

 

The rich young ruler asked the Lord,

“How do I get eternal life?”

Jesus said, “Give all you own to the poor,

Then my Father in heaven will open up the door.

 

Jesus saw the money lenders in the temple

Buying and selling their wares.

Human anger rose up in Him

And He scattered their tables everywhere.

 

“Unless you become like a little child,

You will never enter into heaven.

So let the little children come unto me,

Because the Kingdom of heaven belongs to these.

 

V

(Jesus)

 

“In the darkness of the storm,

There was thunder. There was lighting.

Your boat began to pitch

And it was getting frightening,

But Peter, why did you doubt,

            When you know all about

            Me and my Father?

 

Now, Peter, you saw me

            Walking on the water.

I said, ‘Come to me’

And you thought you oughta,

So, why did you doubt,

            When you know all about

            Me and my Father?

 

I told you, Peter

            You can walk on the water.

All you gotta do

            Is, have faith in my Father.

So, why did you doubt,

            When you know all about

            Me and my father?

 

You threw fear aside

            And stepped out on the brine.

Put your foot on a white cap

            And you were doin’ fine.

So, why did you doubt,

            When you know all about

            Me and my Father?

 

Soon a little doubt

            Crept up where you think.

Then fear took over

            And you began to sink.

Why did you doubt,

            When you know all about

            Me and my Father?

 

You called out my name

            And I took your hand.

Now you’re on solid rock

            And not sinking sand.

 

VI

(Jesus, The Twelve)

 

Jesus talked about wine and bread.

            Live in Him and they would be fed.

Eat His flesh and drink His blood.

            The teaching was hard and many fled.

 

“Would any of you like to leave?”

The twelve said, “No, because we believe.”

“You say you’re believing,

            But what are other people saying?”

 

“Some say you’re John the Baptist,

            Or one of the other prophets.”

“So they think I’m a prophet come back down.

            Tell me, Peter. Who do you say I am?”

 

(Peter)

 

“There’s a man who can walk on the water.

            He never had a son or daughter.

Yet, he comes in the name of love.

            Says he comes from heaven above,

                        And I believe him. 

 

He talks to Satan and makes him flee.

            I’ve even seen him calm the sea

Yet, he’s such a gentle person,

            And there’s one thing I know for certain.

                        I believe him.

 

He asked me, “Who do you say I am?”

            Here’s the answer I gave the Son of man.

I said, ‘You are the Christ,

            The Son of the living God,’

                        And I believe it,

Because he has that look in his eyes

            And I quickly realize

He is the Son of God.”

 

VII

(Narrator)

 

An adulterous woman had been caught.

The Pharisees wanted to stone her like the law taught.

They wanted to know what Jesus thought,

And he just bent down and wrote in the sand.

 

“One cannot commit adultery alone.

Why isn’t her partner here to be stoned?

Let the one without sin throw the first stone.”

And they looked at what he wrote in the sand.

 

Jesus stood with the stone held in his hand.

As the crowd dispersed, every single man.

The Pharisees were angry, but still they ran.

Then Jesus turned to the woman and smiled.

 

“Is there no one left to accuse you?”

“No one, sir, and I want to thank you.”

“Then I want you to go and sin no more.”

Then with his foot he wiped over what he had written about their past.

 

He entered Jerusalem to shouts of praise.

He knew his life was down to a day.

And the “hosannas” were shrouded in haze,

As he walked down the streets of the city.

 

He told his apostles about the end times.

He predicted his death, but it wasn’t clear in their minds.

Then he said it’s time for the bread and the wine.

“Peter, John, go get the Passover supper ready.

 

At the city gate you’ll find a man with a jar.

He’ll lead you to a house, not very far.

Ask the owner of the house where the room is for

The teacher and his disciples.

 

So Peter and John slipped off to find

The place to break the bread and wine.

Oddly they felt there wasn’t much time

For the Passover supper.

 

(John)

 

“Jesus sent us on ahead

To find the room and get the table spread.

My breath is heavy in my chest.

I think it’s the last Passover supper.

We lay the table out without a word.

We’re thinking about what we have heard.

There’s something here we don’t understand.

I think it’s the last supper.

 

He took the bread and passed it to me.

‘This is my body. With it remember me.’

Then He did the same thing with the wine.

I think this is very last supper.

 

He looked at Peter with sadness in His eyes.

He said, ‘Before morning you will deny me three times.’

And Peter cried, ‘Lord that could never be.’

This must be the very last supper.

 

He said one amongst us would betray him.

I looked accusingly at each one of them.

He said, ‘Judas, do what you must.

And that was the end of our very last supper.

 

VIII

(James)

 

Judas I know you’re just a man.

            Just like the rest of us.

We each make our own decisions.

            Jesus told you to do what you must

We each decide whether to be true,

            Or whether to betray.

Remember, you have to live tomorrow

            With decisions that you’re making today.

What do you do with Jesus love?

            Do you throw it back in his face?

What can you buy with thirty pieces of silver?

            You bought eternal disgrace.

With a kiss you betrayed the Lord.

            You may as well have pierced his side.

But now that you’ve completed the deed

            You’re contemplating suicide.

There are many things in this world

            Attract like glittering gold.

There are many things in this world

            Looking to steal your soul.

We are all human beings

            Temptation thrown in our face.

We decide whether to choose peace

            Or live a life of disgrace.

IX

(Jude)

 

Judas Iscariot,

Now what do you think you’ve got?

You have betrayed the Lord,

But making the decision was not the part that was hard.

 

Because of you, they took Jesus away.

They beat him before they gave him away

To be nailed to a cross.

His death is my gain. All else is loss.

 

(Philip)

 

Judas became a carcass in the hot, bloated sun.

He couldn’t give it back, when he realized he was the one

Who put Jesus on that tree.

But it wasn’t just Judas. It was you and it was me.

 

We were his closest friends, but look what we did.

We betrayed, denied, and then ran and hid.

We believed he was just a man who was deceased,

Until we heard the rumors of his tomb’s release.

 

(James the Younger)

 

We heard he appeared just outside the tomb,

But we stayed hidden in our room.

Then we heard that others had seen him too,

So we sent Thomas out to find some news.

 

Then Jesus appeared, while Thomas was gone,

And he didn’t get to share our joyful song.

We tried to share with him the appearance so glorious,

But he hadn’t seen it, so he didn’t believe us.

 

(Thomas)

 

“I did not believe, when they said he had risen.

I did not believe, ‘cause that’s the way I am.

I have to see it, then I’ll believe it.

I have to see it, ‘cause that’s the way I am

I saw him suffer. I stood and watched him die.

I can believe that, ‘cause that’s the way I am.

I saw his body sealed up in the tomb,

And I believe what I see, ‘cause that’s the way I am.

You say the tomb is empty. That’s not proof he’s living.

Let me see him breathing, ‘cause that’s the way I am.

You say he came to see you. Are you sure you were not dreaming?

Let him come and see me, ‘cause that’s the way I am.

If he’s alive, then let me see him.

Then I would believe, ‘cause that’s the way I am.”

Then Jesus said, “Thomas, put your hand in my side.

Feel the holes in my hands. Do you still deny?”

“Now I have living proof, the sacrificial lamb.

Now I believe he’s risen, ‘cause that’s the way I am.”

 

X

(Narrator)

 

Jesus met with them one last time,

They were the branches. He was the vine.

 

 

 

(Jesus)

 

“I’ve been given all authority in heaven and on earth.

Go tell all people about my death and birth.

 

Go baptize them in the name of the Holy One,

The Father, the Spirit, and the Son.

Teach them to obey everything that I’ve said.

And remember, I’ll be with you always, to the end of the age.”

 

(Narrator)

 

Then He was gone,

But they were not alone.

Now, there was no doubt. He wasn’t dead.

James Zebedee looked up and said,

 

(James)

 

“He was a perfect man,

Living in an imperfect land.

He came to earth to die.

To help those, who will, to fly.

 

He came to my brother and me

When we returned from fishing on the sea.

He asked us to follow him,

And we did it without a whim.

 

(Andrew)

 

Now I know why.

And it only makes me cry.

He needed men to stand up for him,

But we were not them.

 

We were always eager to share.

We never hesitated to be there.

We tried to give him our best,

But we hardly ever passed the test.

 

 

 

 

(Bartholomew)

 

We always seemed to say the wrong things.

‘Why did you doubt?’ in our ears, it still rings.

We were rough and rowdy fishermen,

But we wanted to follow him.

 

 

We couldn’t seem to understand.

He tried to tell us his death was at hand.

Then the soldiers came and took him away.

They crucified him the very next day.

 

(Simon the Camanite)

 

Now He’s risen from the grave.

We each have seen him on our way.

We’re going to take his message to the world.

We’re going to stand up for his word.

 

Because now, we know why,

And we’re going to work, not cry.

He needs men to stand up for him,

And we’re going to be them.”

 

XI

(Narrator)

 

The eleven didn’t understand

What the Holy Spirit was.

But they joined together in prayer,

            Asking God to open their eyes.

 

They began to feel the leading,

            As in prayer they continued to delve.

God didn’t want them to be eleven.

            He wanted them to be twelve.

 

It had to be one who had been there all the way,

            Someone like Joseph Barsabbas would do.

Or what about Matthias?

            So they prayed about the two.

 

Maybe they didn’t get a clear answer,

            Or maybe this was what they got.

But they sat down together,

            And for the answer, they drew lots.

 

(Peter)

 

Matthias, Jesus needs you

            To fill in the gap.

There’s a hole in the armor of God

            Made by Judas Iscariot.

 

Matthias, Jesus needs you

            To help take up the slack.

To help him spread the love of God

            To those who’ll give it back.

Matthias there’s a place for you,

            To live your life for him.

Matthias there’s a place for you,

            If you willin’ to die for him.

Are you willin’ to die for him?

 

XII

(Narrator)

 

Then the Holy Spirit came in

With the sound of a violent wind,

And it filled the house where they were.

There were tongues like fire

That fed their desires

            For more of God’s miracles to occur.

 

The whole world was amazed

As God lifted the haze,

            And poured out His Spirit on all.

And one dozen men

Set the world on end,

            As each one answered the call.

 

“Your sons and daughters will prophecy.

Your young men will see visions in the sky.”

            That’s what the prophet, Joel, said long ago.

“Your old men will dream dreams,

Even while Satan schemes.

            And I’ll show wonders above and signs below.

 

The sun will turn dark as the night,

And the moon will be like blood in flight,

            Before the road to the Lord is paved.

And before Satan falls,

Everyone who calls

            On the name of the Lord will be saved.”

 

The End

 

 

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