Monday, April 18, 2016

Ozark

They moved to a mountain to be closer to God,
leaving behind the world with a nod;
no luggage or baggage, no worldly possession,
virtue their only goal of obsession.
Back to basics, souls purified;
their vision of heaven sanctified.
Seeking perfection through self-sacrifice,
surrender their key to paradise.
They welcome others into the fold,
who eagerly believe whatever they’re told.
A preacher, a teacher, a prophet, a sage;
the blending of spirits he hopes to engage.
He calls to all, a message to preach,
their trusting souls in evil’s reach.
He preys upon what they hold dear,
and in their hearts he strikes pure fear.
 “One for all, and all for me;
only my truth will set you free.
 Do what I do, do as I say;
the rewards you seek you’ll receive today.”
They didn’t find God in the man on the hill,
they didn’t gain heaven by doing man’s will.
He laid them down in one final control;
his kingdom bought with their mortal soul.

~McGuffy Ann Morris

We all seek purpose and meaning, especially as we enter adulthood. In my late teens, I had friends who left family and home behind to join communes or cooperative communities. A friend of my family tried to found one of these communes. Some of these communities were of a spiritual or religious nature. While I was intrigued by the idea, I was very cautious and concerned. It was about this time that the Jonestown tragedy hit the news. There have been other cult situations that came to similar catastrophic ends, such as the Waco massacre and Heaven's Gate. I never heard from my friends, again. I hope and pray that they found real answers, and that they are safe in both body and spirit. 

Please read my Challenge Reveal Post for insight on the poetry that I chose to share here.


&

Shared with:

30 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Wow...I am humbled by this. Thank you, Brian.

      Delete
  2. I also know people who followed similar paths. Hopefully, they all found what they were looking for. Unfortunately, it's so easy for people to be taken advantage ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. People can be vulnerable and an easy target for those who have ulterior motives.

      Delete
  3. Humankind's search for meaning to life can take some down very dark paths. There are many forms of cults, I think--some disguised as religious sects, some secular. It all speaks to this need for connection to something beyond our ego selves. I often think that those who are carefree or even shallow might have an easier go of it, by not over-thinking life and just enjoying what comes. But we can't change our personalities. Not sure if I'm even making sense...it's early on Monday morning! Peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, I think that may be where danger lies. The carefree ones who just take it as it comes are often the easiest to sway. I am not sure one can overthink life, or be too careful.

      I think our personalities can be altered when we give up ourselves to someone who wants to change us. Again, there is danger in in this.

      You always make sense, Kea. I value your thoughts. Thanks for being here. Namaste.

      Delete
  4. Well put. When someone promises something that sounds too good to be true, it is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that is often the case. However, I do believe there are good people and good situations. We just need to be careful who we trust and how much we have to invest.

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. Gail, it is sad. However, though this is a composite, it is all true. I wrote this based on people and situations that are factual. In fact, the family friend started his commune in the Arkansas Ozarks. My poem is a cautionary tale.

      Delete
  6. Great job with the poem. I remember these vividly, especially the Johnstown one, always pondering how people could be so entranced by an individual as to change their whole life to live in a commune with him. There are still some questionable situations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Linda, I appreciate that. I cannot imagine surrendering my all to another human being. However, my own faith is strong. I think these egocentric people target those who are vulnerable, seeking something "more".

      Delete
  7. Profound truth in this well written poem, Annie! I have known those who fell into this trap and one who tried to lead others astray. It is amazing how charismatic some people can be when they are hiding behind lies! I hope that your friends fared well too, we can never be too cautious in situations where we are entrusting others with our lives and our souls.

    I really liked this poem, I remember the tragedies you noted too well, Waco being not that far from us here in West Texas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Josie. It is easy to prey upon the young and innocent.

      Delete
  8. You gave me chills. It is profound poetry.
    Awakening Dreams and Conquering Nightmares with a Pen
    Blessings to you and yours, my dear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate your comment, Darla. Thank you.

      Delete
  9. Annie; I'm sorry for your friends and hope they either are indeed safe, happy and healthy are they saw the light; bad word usage I know, and they got the H outta there ~~~~~~~~ as always your poem rocks ♥♥♥

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think every now and then I would stop and wonder where they are.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Replies
    1. shortybear, I am glad you are here. Thank you.

      Delete
  12. A very heavy subject, Annie. It saddens me how many people through the ages have followed these false gods/prophets and been betrayed. I too hope your friends are safe and well. Hugs and love, Janet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janet, you are wonderful. I value your friendship.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Annie. I value yours as well. J.

      Delete
  13. Another poem with many layers, Annie. When I was young I was one who searched in some questionable places but I was kept safe from harm. Maybe I was not as trusting as some and too stubborn to give all of me to those who thought they were gods of sorts. Stubborness is sometimes a good thing. Thanks for sharing your powerful poem with In Other Words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patricia, I thank you for your kind, supportive comments. I also thank you for offering a warm place to share our words.

      Delete
  14. Sad how some charismatic individuals are able to prey upon the lost and searching. Promising them a peace that can't be found in this World. I always say, anytime anyone is standing on a pedestal above you and saying you need to do as THEY say: warning!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. My heart breaks for those who believe those false prophets.

      Delete
  15. I hope your friends survived their experiences. That is sad when someone takes advantage of another by using God as a cover.

    ReplyDelete