Fat Tuesday Word Jazz – Jim Burklo, USA

Twixt twelve and thirty years, who was Jesus, we ask?
The Bible says nothing worth taking to task.
A square or a rounder? – we’re all left to wonder
How hearty he partied, how much did he blunder?

‘Twas the night before forty long days and dark nights
When Jesus went wandering way out of sight
The children of Bethlehem all tucked in their beds
But Jesus’ buddies came over and said
“Dude, it’s past time that we tore up the town
Put on your sandals – let’s knock a few down!”
“Why not?” Jesus asked himself, ready to roll
And so they took off in the gloom and the cold.

On Mardi Gras night in a funky old hut
They tippled until the tavern was shut
Then they stumbled and wobbled
Down the streets that were cobbled
Laughing and singing
Roaring and swinging
Till they fell in a heap
And drifted to sleep
‘Neath a sycamore tree.

Head leaning against the trunk,
Tongue lolling out of his mouth,
Jesus dreamed a wondrous dream.

And you and I were in it
Our world and all that’s in it
Now in twenty twenty plus,
All was plain for him to see.
Ahh, the wonders that played
Like Fat Tuesday’s parade!
With people in costumes that he’d never seen
Zooming along in their gleaming machines
On roads wide and smooth
And in skies where they flew
Markets as big as the temple’s grand square
And glittering lights were festooned everywhere
Bewildering devices
Incomparable spices
Unimaginable prices.
Houses as big as an Israeli town
With perfect pastures all ’round
But no sheep to be seen
On the neatly-trimmed green…

Jesus dreamed all this and more
He saw the rich, he saw the poor
The ones in the Teslas, the ones in the tents
The ones who paid and collected the rents
Crypto billionaires gaming the system
Fake-tanned demagogue blaming the victim
A blizzard of words in a torrent of tweets
Lies spreading faster than folks can delete
Corrosive opinions promoted as facts
Conspiracy theories churned out to the max.

The mental health crisis came into his view
Millions of people lost deep in the blues
Eating to work and working to eat
Meeting to work and working to meet
Lonely souls on busy streets
Friendship faked on hand-held screens
Till no one knows what friendship means

He was blown away by the contradiction
Misery and wealth in juxtaposition
Food in abundance
Clothes in redundance
Want it you get it
Sky’s not the limit
So why all the sadness?
And why all the badness?

He rose from his slumber as dawn brightly came
But still in his soul those hard questions remained
With his buddies on Tuesday he got himself bent
But now it was Wednesday, beginning of Lent.

“I’ll go to the desert and sort it all through;
I won’t come back till I know what to do.”

Forty days and forty nights
Forty darks and forty lights
Hunger, pain, and cold and heat
Look within, and then repeat
See what’s real and see what’s not
What you lack and what you’ve got
Who you aren’t and who you are
Where to go and just how far.

And when he was done, he saw what to do.
Discovered his mission – and it is ours, too.
Know the divine at the core of our being
Open our eyes and really start seeing
Speak out the truth to the powers that be
Stand up for justice for you and for me

Tuesday’s upon us, so let’s start the party
Swinging our beads and singing out hearty
Howl an incantation
To all of creation
Vent our frustration
At higher inflation
Lift a libation
And make an oration
To change the narration
Of pointless placation
And take a vacation
From all our vexation
‘Cause Wednesday will follow
As sure as tomorrow
And then we’ll seek the mission
That we’ll bring to fruition –
Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Let the good times roll!


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