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The Story of "Allegory"
Laurie Efrein Kahalas

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"Did the Angels ever come for my friends at Jonestown? Was their sacrifice recorded and known? I believe it was. I believe it because I am human. I believe it as a child of God. Because I heard the Angels weeping for Jonestown, and I am haunted by Their song."

From "SNAKE DANCE: Unraveling
the Mysteries of Jonestown"

Most people live on the surface of life, experiencing its sorrows and joys as they unfold, oftentimes without preparation or signs: "We never know what life may bring." Even those of powerful religious faith, who affirm that life, however unpredictable or even heartbreaking, has purpose, can rarely foresee the twists and curves which make us wonder how or why we were placed upon this Earth in this time, this place, these circumstances.

Glimpsing into the future is relatively rare, and when wedded to a cultural albatross like "psychic," it may seem sufficiently surreal to cast aside as an anomaly. Rarer still, such glimpses snare the weave of history, like the quatrains of Nostradamus; or cut "too close to home," like poor Cassandra, whose warnings to her own father, King Priam of Troy, fell upon the deaf ears of ridicule and disbelief.

But sometimes, indeed, we are given windows to view the future as clearly as if it were already happening before our eyes. I was given an extraordinary "glimpse" --indeed, much more-- into the most devastating event-to-be of my own life, The Jonestown Tragedy, years before it happened. More startling still, it was given to me as a profoundly moving work of art, entitled "Allegory."

The entire episode appears in my book, "SNAKE DANCE: Unravelling the Mysteries of Jonestown" (available through this website or through Yet I have kept this off to date, for understandable reasons. My views are maverick as is, based upon files (however copious) and personal experience (however extensive) which were never part of the "media circus" which marked the tragic deaths of my friends. It has been daunting enough to challenge commonly-held myths, however well-grounded those challenges may be in both conscience and in love for the people who died. To take on "psychic" matters prior to establishing more mundane inroads, would have been premature. But by now, enough time has passed, and this rich, unique odyssey is ripe to be told:

In late 1974, four years prior to the Jonestown Tragedy, I was visited by an unseen Being, awesomely serene, Who radiated a compassion more profound than I could tell. Over a period of months, He showed me the tragedy-to-come, variously through scenarios, details, through visions, metaphors, and other internal forms of guidance. The contacts culminated in "channeling" a hauntingly beautiful poetic work called "Allegory" (re-printed below), which I was told was "for all of America when Jim Jones is gone."

It was so surreal (or be it literal, so frightening), that I was locked into denial. I was as shocked as anyone when each detail, scenario, sequence of events, came to pass literally and in exact detail four years later on.

Many questions arise, even prior to telling the tale: Was this just a vague "feeling" about the future, or something more concrete? Could this not have arisen naturally around a leader who himself hinted at such a doom? Does foreseeing events give one power to prevent them? From what Source do such premonitions come? When such terrifying visions come true, in what way may they foster comprehension or, all the more, healing, of such brutal trauma? Does spiritual access to advance knowledge carry any special responsibilities to history, or to the culture?

Answers to these questions are contained in the singular character of my experiences:

What I was shown was rich with details which did not even fall into place until the end. Understand, this was late 1974, when Peoples Temple was on the rise -- expanding, praised, headed towards prestige, not decline. As for Jonestown itself, it was barely-cleared brush, not home to a mass exodus, as later happened. There was nothing about the scenario I was shown that could have been known that far in advance, much less the numerous "happenstance" elements that fell into place at the last:

I was shown that the land would be left "barren and waste, the wake of unprecedented devastation." (Jonestown, although a thriving agricultural cooperative with beautiful facilities, was razed to the ground in the wake of the "unprecedented devastation" of mass suicide).

I was shown it would be a warm night (it was November, but in the tropics) with rich foliage ("a cool green meadow-home"), at dusk ("It is the dying of the day.")

I was shown an enclosed, but open-air meeting place (" ‘neath the dim fire of dawning stars"), like perhaps a stadium (it turned out to be a common area called "The Pavilion.")

I was shown that "A nation is dying" (Jonestown would, by then, become "its own nation" – not American, not Guyanese, in fact seeking refuge on yet another continent).

I was shown Jim Jones "at the penultimate hour of tribulation" (i.e. just prior to the suicides) while "by his side is a child" – namely, John Stoen, the child Jones had had by the wife of the church’s top attorney (later "defector") Timothy Stoen – a child who would, by the time of the tragedy, become a "cause celebre" as per Stoen’s own false paternity claim. (At the time of writing "Allegory," both legal parents were still in the church, with Stoen considered "the most loyal," and expected to never leave.)

I was shown there would be two sets of "guards" those final hours ("They are surrounded by a wall which is…clothed in heavy guard") -– one from within the group, in solidarity ("The sentries of my heart are crimson, dark, and green"); the other a menacing force circling the outside ("The sentries of the wall are brute and grey" -- government logs confirm that the C.I.A. had arrived by 3:30 a.m.!); and that there was "no known means of escape" from the enclave.

I was shown a follower (who turned out to be an actual woman on the final tape) who stood up at the last to beg for an impossible re-relocation overseas (" ‘Leave this place, itinerant one!,’ a suppliant cried… Mankind has more need of thee than these few… last…")

I was shown the denial of the suicides stemming from the influence of drugs ("No. I am not numb. My nerve-fibers bristle with a surfeit of senseate ache.").

I was shown the haven ("a cool green meadow-home….where little children come to play…") briefly granted an oppressed people ("How you came washed in pain!…. From a land where dreams are cast aside [i.e. America’s inner cities], and fortunes capsized and turned, lives submerged and lost…")

I was shown the call to martyrdom ("The power of the poor, the low is with thee, if you will just give all!"… "though you’d not believe it, I say: I give to you the best of days!"… "Though flanked by ‘liars and thieves!,’ they say, this day you are christened: crowned in autumn leaves, and bedecked in new-fallen snow…" Final Tape: "Lay down your life in dignity... You’ll set an example forever.")

I was shown the pull not towards worldly victory, but towards death ("I send you forth as a warrior into the darkest night [i.e. death]…" "Their voice fell, snow-silent as a dying dove, as a swallow cast in flight, towards death, towards night…")

I was shown the lament for the "first-born" of a new dispensation ("And you can be the noblest ones to grace this earth, for I send forth you last first-born of this anguished place. But I send forth you last as first into no midst of battle-blaze, but only through this dim dawn’s haze." Final tape: "Paul said, I was a man born out of due season. I’ve been born out of due season like we all are… We were born before our time. They won’t accept us.")

I was shown people dying one by one in front of Jim Jones’ eyes ("I see them plunge one by one, towards the sea, ‘neath the foam… My own heart sinks with thee.")

I was shown Jim Jones railing in rage ("and my wrath knows no delay!" Final tape: "They’ll pay for this! They brought this upon us and they’ll pay for it.") at "the song of the unmarked graves" (bodies left to rot beyond identification, later buried en masse in Oakland)

I was shown the scenario set as a Greek tragedy (Final tape: "Step over quietly to the other side, like the ancient Greeks." Note: The favored method of suicide for the Greeks was the drinking of hemlock, a deadly poison; though "Allegory" was written prior to any intimation of death by poisoning within Peoples Temple.)

I was shown a world unaware of any outside provocation for the deaths ("No one knows [i.e. understands] me, why I give all" [these lives], "for the moment to intercede is past," [i.e. too late to prevent the killing of the Congressman. Final tape: "I wish I could call it back"] "or has not yet come" [i.e. in response to an impending military threat that was not visible to the world]. Final tape: "They’ll be parachuting in… They’ll torture some of our children. They’ll torture our seniors…").

I was shown the perceived hopelessness of defusing their plight ("No vision will bring peace. No. No longing will bring calm…" "That you vow to move on, though every sign may read ‘No hope.’" Final tape: "I’ve practically died every day to give you peace and you still have not had any peace. We tried to find a new beginning, but it’s too late... There is no way we can survive.") in the larger anguish of an indifferent world ("as the grey world waits, and orphans shamefully weep…")

I was shown the brutal snapping of childlike dreams into the harsh reality of corpses cruelly left to rot ("As you think, oh how good, how sweet, how fine, to come as a little child, how I listened to the song of the unmarked graves, ‘Gone! Gone!,’ and turned not away… I send you forth as a proud warrior, divest of dreams and wonton hopes…")

I was shown the pleas for the outside world to awaken as this world was about to die ("…lest this moment die deep within the dying of a world’s last rays… Too late to mend, progressed past arrest, Too soon for men to heed and grasp, Haunted the past, the future –foredoomed!—looms and cries, cries, cries its all-too-present deaths! Why have you slept? Why have you slept? Why have you slept?")

I was shown the resolve to proceed despite the grief ("Who would hold you strong now, as you shook, and wept, and grieved?… Yes, it is time indeed! And though it brings me only grief to impart to you the graveness of this day…"); and the poignant mix of panic, fear, and bravery ("And some ran. And some turned. And some faltered. And some hid. Yet some rose brave…")

I was shown (as showed up on the final tape) a follower telling a woman whose life had previously been miraculously spared, that she should not now place her "individual life" above the collective fate ("You see, there is no garden here, only what you’ve made of need, of fear, of pain… There never was a garden-home, only what your pain, your need would prescribe. And when you laid your woes on this altar of all life, you relinquished all claim to distance, apathy, or retreat…")

I was shown that they suicided out by "covenant" ("You must move on this ominous day, whate’er befall your fate! For I have made a covenant with thee…" "But still the covenant remains, if only one its honor give…")

I was shown the impassioned backdrop, a lifetime of advocacy for the oppressed ("I spoke for all, I spoke for each one that none would defend, nor hear, nor save. I spoke to free each slave from unjust shares, ruthless gains, the power men crave. I spoke of prisons, youth, and unsung graves…")

I was shown that the suicides were a "last recourse", specifically provoked by the airstrip killings ("My heart –laid waste!—would cry, bleed, drain ‘neath the dead weight of slain men’s bones… crushed. Hush, no recourse waits, my heart has known its last reprieve…" -- Jim Jones on the final tape: "I waited against all evidence… The Congressman has been murdered… Can we hasten with the medication… Let’s just be done with the agony of it.")

I was shown the call to leave their now-doomed "paradise" ("Oh, mourn not your garden-loss! Love in this present place is a fearful thing, an awesome weight…" Final tape: "We’ve lived, we’ve lived as no other people have lived and loved, we’ve had as much of this world as we’re going to get… If you knew what was ahead of you, you’d be glad to be stepping over tonight."); into a peaceful rest ("Come my sons, my daughters, a new world’s at your behest, I will lead you through the slaughter, I will bring you through each test… And my heart will be your altar, and my love will be your rest." Final tape: "Death is just sleep… going to a quiet rest. No more pain…")

I was shown the suicide process followed through ("And one died…. Another died… Yet another died…" "Now the vultures come, grey carrions of death…")

I was shown that the people would die successively in varying states of consciousness – some as defiant martyrs ("My death shall be avenged by all brave women and men!""), some in anguish and conflict ("That I might live to redeem a travesty of mistakes, trials and sorrows!"), others at peace ("He seemed so calm, and overborne with shade.")

I was shown that many of the dead would be children ("Weep not, my little child, for I do encircle thee, though this day your dye is cast…" "Children weep. Grief has expended its war-born toll.")

I was shown the predatory press ("Now the vultures come, grey carrions of death, they pick, pluck, peck, tear at his flesh, with cruel-eyed intent, and crudely jest"); and that the death scene would plundered ("One by one, now they plunder, and disarray the nest…")

I was shown that Jim Jones would be mocked all over the world as "a false god" ("‘I will save thee’, ha!, mock call, who will save thee this day… And as they incessantly peck at his bile in rude thrusts, they even smile, because ‘It is not He,’ they say.")

I was shown the number of dead ("The song rises from a thousand unmarked graves…" Final tape: "We’re a thousand people who don’t like the way the world is.")

I was shown an eerie doom’s wake – bodies left to rot into "foul-decaying flesh"; and how none would speak in defense of the fallen ("wrestling to expound in a dark, uncertain key, to express in wavering tones a dirge too low to justly grieve, a song too weak for a too-wrong death!") How there was even no "script" left to speak to the world ("You longed for interpretation, but the interpreter is gone…")

I was shown the heartbreak that a mission so dedicated to rescuing people had now reaped a bitter legacy ("The tears flow now finally, in full, pouring torrents of bitter-sweet, salt, and dusky rain.. Who you would have taken with you!, yet so few would chance the rude, hard journey… Your mission of rescue has become –tragically!!-- a mission of legacy." Final tape: "They’ve taken us and driven us until we tried to find ourselves… They invaded our privacy, they came into our home, they followed us 6,000 miles away.. It’s all over, all over… What a legacy! What a legacy!")

I was shown that I must step forward with the story some day, however hostile or unresponsive the climate ("You stand alone, hence I send you forth, through calvaries of night, on this pilgrimage of dry dust and blistering rain…")

Most poignant (for there was far more blame to go around than anyone ever knew), "Allegory" closes with "No. It is worse you’ve made travesty of My Spirit!!!!" This work, in the mundane sense, left me ashen and defeated, yet spiritually it is a monument, for it is unmistakably clear that spiritually, Someone knew. Not only "knew," but loved, and blessed, and comforted those souls as they left this Earth. I have no doubt of it.

No, there was nothing "vague" about what I was shown! Indeed, I experienced terror, sorrow, upset, even love more sublime than I had ever known; yet it was so surreal, I suffered a maze of disorientation. Whatever the pressures of living day to day with a fanatical leader who encouraged the facing of death as a sacrifice, even a martyrdom, this was too surreal to incorporate into everyday life. Especially in that it portrayed people I knew and loved going down to worldwide smears and scorn – surely not any "glorious victory" which would awaken the populace!

Ironically (however understandably), my world of twenty-five years back barred revealing this work to the very people whose lives hung in the balance. First, Jim Jones did have extraordinary psychic gifts; and to proclaim "my own vision," much less one of doom, much less threaded by the tenuous hook of "clairvoyant poetry," could only provoke scorn from zealous followers. Second, I was so clearly shown Jim Jones’ own personal death, that an equally intimidating prospect loomed: accusations of "You want the leader dead."

Indeed, before Jones had even departed the States, he twice accused me of wanting him dead, because I had told him about "Allegory." I believed with all my heart that a great breakaway was at stake, a vanguard for the oppressed (which indeed, Jonestown prior to its destruction had become – even survivors hostile to Jones will affirm that), and that only Jim Jones could lead this fierce brigade. To be accused of wanting (as opposed to foreseeing) his death was unbearable. There was no one I wanted to fight, much less turn against, much less "want dead"!

Nor could I suggest that our doom might be a fait accompli, just when everyone was working so hard to build a new life!! I could not even accept it myself. The tragedy with "a whole world destroyed overnight" was as huge a shock to me as to anyone when it finally happened.

The reality was that I was in no position to "suggest" anything. I was in and out of "trance state" while writing the work; moreover, I was not directing the process, but being guided myself -- language, like haunting melodies, washed through me, its many details (with no "match" yet in real circumstance) submerged in the emotional ebb and flow. Our modern world is a living imperative towards materiality – everything we see, do, hear, or touch, is a "fact," about which we must "do" something. With "Allegory," it took all of my emotional energy just to bring the work through – to listen; and unless someone "tuned in on my channel," its "reality" was unknown to anyone but me and its Author.

Yes, I was a "witness" via these extraordinary spiritual/artistic means, but never positioned to alter the course of events. Indeed, it may well have been my intense identification with the people who later died, that rendered me open to receiving this work; yet that same identification precluded my stepping out of the drama to either defy the leader, or to "rain on everyone’s parade." I, too, wanted with all my heart for the work of building a paradise overseas to succeed.

Last, but hardly least, was terror of my own frame of mind! Was I going mad? If I was, surely no one would help me. All I might expect was castigation for being "Cassandra," when everyone else was tuned fever-pitch to victory: that this far-left-wing, racially integrated group : might fulfill its dream of racial and economic equality against all odds. Indeed, when I told Jim Jones I had written a work "about your death and the death of many of our people," he railed against my writing poetry at all - as though I were "Nero fiddling while Rome burned"

Facing such pressures, why did I not abandon this frightening and forbidden quest? I never could. In the face of every emotional and social taboo of our insulated flock, there was still this awesome Presence, the Spirit who "gave" me this work – with His unfathomable compassion, comfort, comprehension, and love. What I experienced was not only terrifying, but also sublime, if I can juxtapose such dissimilar terms. What was at first a fear to quell and hide, later emerged as a source of comfort, upliftment, and strength. It told me that however cruelly and incomprehensibly my friends were taken in the eyes of the world, they were loved and honored by God for whatever was their true purpose in life, even in worlds to come.

I am one of the fortunate ones: I preserved not only my life but my sanity, and also preserved a work which I believed (however bereft of human guidance) had come from a higher Source. But I have also wanted others to benefit from my ordeal. So I tell each and every person of special creative or spiritual bents, especially young people, to follow your vision, follow your heart, listen to God in your own way.

Regarding any personal imperative to tell this tale ("a different tale") to the world, the call from Spirit in fact spawned a state of denial far past the tragedy. It took years to comprehend what I could, much less should, do; nor did I assume that fulfilling such a "mission" meant that there was a halo around my own head. The bottom line has been simply where life has brought me: I "happened to have been" the only one left with the copious paper trail, its many details having coursed through my brain, my fingers, my heart; and the life experience to have seen and known the whole of the pressures on that community that night. My role could never have been "planned" – indeed, where I was assigned to be back then, and doing what, were decisions made without my input. It is just what "happened,’ and how little we all do understand about how life "happens"! Especially in the face of tragedy.

Be that as it may, I have tried to give my friends the honor, recognition, and understanding of their legitimate conflicts, fears, and apprehensions, which went way beyond internal problems at Jonestown, encompassing politically-motivated forces, persons, and agencies against them, all too real, too funded, too destructive, that any fair reading of the whole cache of evidence confirms. These were not passive people who simply followed "a madman." Their own hopes and dreams were ignited in ways too poignant and real to ever fully convey. Nor do I believe that they went to anything resembling a "hell." They went to where the purest and deepest of their own souls led them which, for so many at Jonestown, was a place of peace. With every fiber of their beings, they wanted a better world; and however the world considers their sacrifice misguided at best, only God can judge their hearts, their souls, even their will and intent.

Regrettably, it is as difficult to convey this now to the world as it once was to convey to "my own," and curiously, for some reasons in common. It is surprisingly difficult to be spiritual in America today. Not merely because cynicism, superficiality, and apathy abound, but because even for all the brigades of evangelical churchgoers, few honor, much less seek, a spirituality freely given from God to humans individually, as an entrustment beyond any scripture or organized religion. The culture is still relegated to the confines of institutions, authoritarian dictums, and accepted modes of expression. If once I feared to simply be myself, with my own loving God, the current mass culture is no more conducive to a truly free spiritual life.

All I know is what I have always known -- that the work I am reprinting here, "Allegory," as well as the Spiritual Personage Who gave me the work — radiated a Love to overcome all earthly sorrow, which haunts me to this day. It altered my view of life and death forever.

Mankind, of course, never accepts tragedy without a "rub." It is paradoxical to reconcile that we may at one and the same time be active participants in, yet also be but instruments of our own fate. Namely, if Higher Powers gave this knowledge in advance, did this mean that the event could have (or should have) been prevented? It is obvious that I was not positioned to prevent or alter the future, only to receive what my fragile personality (of that time) could hardly bear. But should, or could, anyone else have?

The supreme irony, perhaps, is that the very people who claimed actions to "prevent" the tragedy, the so-called "media heroes," were in fact the ones who provoked it! Who repeatedly made mercenary threats (only one of countless actions, detailed in other areas of this website) against innocent, defenseless families, based upon a knowingly false, deliberately inflammatory paternity claim to Jones’ own son! They even signed up Congressman Leo Ryan for sacrifice to their false crusade (indeed, the perfect "sacrificial lamb" -- leading C.I.A. opponent of his day!), and to this day, no one knows who pulled the trigger that killed him. The powers pushing the Congressional visit indeed reveled in endangering the community, not "saving" it. They used spiteful people with personal vendettas to swear out false affidavits, and to smear the people of Jonestown – falsely portraying a peaceful, constructive community as a "paramilitary camp," even a "concentration camp," in their obsessive drive to destroy Jim Jones.

Terrorizing innocent, defenseless families is not, never was, and never could be considered a "heroic" act. Nor did the people pulling the strings care if mass death was the result (indeed, it "saved them a lot of trouble"), so long as they destroyed Jim Jones -- like agent provocateur Timothy Stoen, for example, "vowing to destroy Jonestown," and "counting on Jim [Jones] to overreact." Or non-member government agent Joseph Mazor, sent into Jonestown just weeks before the end, to threaten the community with "mass extinction"; only to emerge on t.v. in the aftermath to proclaim that, "It was considered that Jim Jones would become a major political force in the Caribbean within five years" (i.e. an intelligence assessment).."

Well, perhaps. Unless he wound up dead. Him and his "expendable" followers – so many of them poor, black, and on the wrong side of the political fence. Their bodies deliberately left to rot in the tropical sun. The C.I.A. made it in post haste, but not one iota of humanitarian aid arrived for days (see "Un-Silent Night," also on this website.)

The world identified the wrong people as "heroes" in this travesty. Perhaps the outcry in "Allegory," "And the martyrs bleed, and hypocrites pray!" was all too telling!

Ultimately, one must also factor in the much-maligned subject of "karma," which some believe to be the ultimate "why things happen." As I’ve detailed in my book, I had premonitions going back as far as my teenage years, years before I met Jim Jones – it was somehow always "there." We think that life happens exclusively by cause-and-effect – that if only we will "do something" or not "do something," everything can be changed. And although I believe we should all do what best fulfills our hearts, our talents, and yes, also our conscience and social responsibilities, life is more awesomely complex, as the saga of "Allegory" has taught me well.

Why are certain groups of people born into certain parts of the world at certain times? We cannot even answer that much. So how much greater a backdrop of spiritual realities do we not address? We do not even know, at root, why tragedies happen. Tragic events can bring out great strengths in people, or foster needed change. Conversely, the greatest tragedies are oftentimes not merely what happens, but our own inability to accept or comprehend, much less to transform our lives in their wake.

In this context, I only regret that from the saga of Jonestown, the world seems to have learned virtually nothing. And I trace that, in part, not to what the world was told, but to the huge chunks that were missing from the public terrain – the "untold story" to which this website (as well as my book, "SNAKE DANCE") is addressed. It is a tale overdue to be heard.

Regarding how I relate to history, I have tread a dual path, based upon what I was entrusted with: the spiritual entrustment of "Allegory," and the physical entrustment of an entire archive of documents the world never knew or saw. Indeed, they are related: No one will grasp the human story, much less honor their spirit of sacrifice that night, without knowing how and why these very human, even remarkably loving and constructive people, were persuaded to die. It entailed not only pressures from their own fanatical leader; but frighteningly real pressures from outside the community; as well as their own stake in a vanguard community they wanted – even, for many, the desperation to not be forced back to oppressive conditions in the United States.

You cannot "brainwash" people into wanting a better life, or to in fact achieve it (see RAVE REVIEWS also on this website.). The ultimate tragedy was not that there was nothing to defend, or people unwilling to defend it – but rather that there was everything to rightfully defend against cruel, false, high-powered attacks, yet that right to self-defense was brutally aborted from within.

Unless and until that paradigm of comprehension is set aright, then all the millions of words written on the subject offer not one single lesson of value for humanity. You have a great horror story, but the human lives lost are given as much value as the mass grave of unidentified corpses at Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland, California. And I, too, in lamenting "the song of the unmarked graves," hope that the extraordinary work re-printed here will touch people’s hearts, and make what was their very human plight real.

I am currently attempting to fulfill both entrustments, the spiritual and the physical one, without its infringing too much upon "ordinary life." There are records which must be revealed and preserved, and on that level, it is simply a time-consuming responsibility. Nor can I control how the world, or the public, will respond. The times are as they are, and none of us ever really know what influence we might have within the larger course of events.

So begging the public’s forbearance, I now put "Allegory" on my website, with all of its mysterious metaphors, alongside its dead-accurate descriptions, scenarios, personages, and train of events. It was "dictated" to me, word for word, by a Spirit Whose Name I do not know, but Whose comfort sustained me when ordinary, human, one-to-one, much less public comfort, was scarce to be found.

Is this a true and full picture of how the tragedy was "seen" by its spiritual Overlookers? When humans bring through even a spiritual tour-de-force such as this, they are still only human vehicles -- creatures of their times, their worldview, and the longings of their own heart. Each one whose life was shattered that night has had to mediate the reality of that cataclysm in their own unique way. I also know that a powerfully emotional work such as "Allegory," even its specific contents, touches controversial chords, to which I am scarcely deaf or blind.

But I also know that I was given this work to be released to the world; and if I am willing to risk it, I trust my readers to honor my integrity in doing so. However some may assess its fervor, its extremities, or even the honor it gives to a people so scorned by the world, let it stand as a testament that God can and does love in realms beyond what we humans are normally granted to know.

God bless my precious friends who died. God bless them forever.

("ALLEGORY" begins on next page.)




Redwood Valley, California

(With fluidity and pathos throughout:)


The land lies barren and waste --
       the wake of unprecedented devastation.
It is the dying of the day.
He stands, at the penultimate hour of tribulation!
       and even the air is fraught with a deathly still.

By his side is a child --
whom fate could ordain to lead an entire race!
       Now, ‘neath the dim fire of dawning stars,
       dusk shrouds each tender face.

They are surrounded by a wall that is both massive,
       and clothed in heavy guard.
There is no known means. . . .
of escape!


A na----tion... is DY-------ing. . . .
G-g-g-g-...god I---s. . . .
In A----gony. . . .
            and no-one. . . . speaks. . . . .


"On my left hand stands a child.
On my right hand stands . . . . a wall.
In my heart all is still,
           though Titans fall:
And pA---triots grIE--------ve. . ."

           "Leave this place, itinerant one!,"
                    a suppliant cries.
           "Leave this place, Prometheus!
           Mankind has more need of thee than these
                    few. . . last. . . .
          Hasten thee!"

"My heart is still.
I only see this . . . child.
No one knows me -- why I give all, though
The moment to intercede is past,
            or has not... yet... come:

"No. I am not/ numb.
My nerve-fibers bristle
            with a surfeit of senseate a-che. . . .
My voice cries
slumberless! --
            through thin. . . dawn. . . .
I listen : to the song of the un-marked graves,

           Gone!, Gone!,’
And my wrath knows NO delay. . . .:

"Yet my heart lies--
            oh---, so ocean-still. . . .
Swallows glide numberless o’er the waves.
I see them plunge one by one, towards the sea, ‘neath the foam.
My own heart sinks. . . . with thee. . ."



"I remember --lest my heart still seem a cool green meadow-home--
            where trees would grow, and swallows nest,
            and little children come to play, one by one. . . . .
"How you came --washed in pain!--
            neath the setting of the sun,
a raging, moon-swept sea wrest
            from every hour and age,
            from every time and need:

"From the childhood of your questioning eyes,
From the wasted youth of your unrefrained desire
            a fire that only dies, dies, dies. . . .
From a land where dreams are cast aside,
and fortunes capsized and turned,
             lives submerged and lost. . .
In the madness of your thwarted cries, for ‘Time!’ --
             past all reprieve!

             Begging amnesty for all sins past;
                        and destiny of all future guise. . . .

"And each one asked a favor.
And each one asked a wile.
And no child thought
            one drop of sweetness drawn could exile mean
            from such a sweet, sweet land. . .

"I remember --lest your dreams, love, still seem
            a reverie that gods would fire and breathe,
            make real for thee, and glean--
As you think, ‘Oh how good, how sweet, how fine
            to come as a little child, how I
"Listened to the song of the unmarked graves:

           Gone!, Gone!,’
And turned NOT/ away. Aye,

"No vision will bring peace. No.
No longing will bring calm, nor even a balm, not
             for me, but even for thee: a--s
the grey world waits, and orphans shamefully weep;
And you hear the pleas to see, to feel, to know, to speak:

"To remember!!! -- lest this moment die
. . within the dying of a world’s last rays,
              in vain. . . . --:
How you too came, and exclaimed in ecstatic murmurings,

‘Oh my Saviour, just in time!’ -- a-s
the grim earth quakes with failing breath, and faltering steps,
              with scarcely time at all:

"Too late to mend, progressed past arrest---
Too soon for men to heed and grasp---
Haunted the past, the future --foredoomed!-- looms,
and cries, cries, cries its all-too- present


"WHY----------------- have you slept?
have you slept?
WHY. . . . . . have you. . . .
sle--p--t?. . . ."



"Yes, it is time indeed!
And though it bring me only grief
to impart to you the graveness of this day:
             what you must do, and know, and say. .--:
Though it brings my heart to your keenest need,
though you’d not believe it, I say:
‘I give to you the best of days!’"
             (And some shuddered. And some were like stone.
             And some walked on, on, on. . .):
"To live in a hallowed grief. . .

. . .or freely die!!"

          And some ran. And some turned.
            And some faltered. And some hid.
            Yet some rose brave, and claimed:

"You see, there is no garden here.
only what you’ve made of need, of fear, of pain:
                               (I came. I love.. I feed. . . .)

"There never was a garden-home,
only what your pain, your need would prescribe.
And when you laid your woes on this altar of ALL life,
you relinquished all claim. . .
                          to distance. . . apathy. . . or retreat:
Arise, ye people, wake! A-RI------------SE. . . . . . . ."

Their voice fell, snow-silent as a dying dove,
as a swallow cast in flight,
               towards death, towards night, ‘loft a brimming
               breath---. . . of the dark-. . dawned. . . sea. . .

"And the sentries of my heart did grieve,
and sorrowfully shook their heads: ‘Aye,
it’s true, I fear.
There is no garden here.
They have plucked the fruit --
             the best!
Now non---e can-- en-ter- in--. . . . ."



"Who would hold you strong now
               as you shook, and wept, and grieved?
Who will move on (--while you sleep--),
as the wars rage, and innocents die?
My heart --laid waste!-- would cry, bleed, drainneath the dead
. . . of slain. . men’s. . . bo--nes. . . . .

"Hush. No recourse waits.
My heart has known its last reprieve.
My heart beats on, on, on.. . . .
I would not deceive you:
                it has been long to come.
"Yet when all is known, yet when all is done,
                it puzzles me:
Though you long not for pain, yet you long not for love:
                a love to make you strong!
Whilst love is cast; your will is bent;
                and you wither. . . .
                within the sweet rays of my love. . .
. . .with no. . . protest. . . .?

"Oh, mourn not your garden-loss!
Love in this present place is a fearful thing,
                an awesome weight.
Love --as a memory-- can be kissed, blessed --
                recognized, reconciled, yea! ---

"And you’ll hear it as though the light of the Sun were sound,
                a gold far chime:
                ‘He said,
                "Come, my sons, my daughters,
                a new world’s at your behest.
                I would bring you through the slaughter.
                I will bring you through each test.
                Though men be blind, and falter, I---
                give credence to your best!
                That my heart would be your altar.
                And my love. . . would be your rest.’"

The sentries round the outer wall are brute and gray.
"No. I never saw him pass this way ---




"Now you’ll gather ‘round. Soon it will all be told to thee.
Those who gather in, a quickening trust shall hold.
And with my vision as your eyes --a searing fire!--:
                you’ll know, you’ll know, you’ll know,
                why I must
Send you forth as a warrior into the darkest night---
Send you forth as a warrior to uphold and claim the right!
And I send you forth a proud warrior,
                divest of dreams and wanton hopes.

"For the shelter of my heart a fortress is, a tower shall be,
                and you shall scale its walls.
The power of the poor, the low is with thee,
                if you will just give all!
And I send you forth a warrior!!
                --He who bringeth peace. . . The gentlest one. . .--
He who bringeth the sword!!

"And you can be the noblest ones to grace this earth,
for I send forth you last first-born of this anguished place.
Yet I send forth you last, as first, into no midst of battle-blaze;
                but only through this dim. . . dawn’s. . . haze. . . .

"And one died.
And I laid him in a shelter ‘neath the trees.
                His day is done.
The sun did not scorche his lithe frame.
Nor did many grieve for him.
                He seemed so calm (--pass on. . !--)
and overborne with shade.

"Another died, as he sobbed wretchedly, on his last, torn breath,
‘That I might live!, to redeem a travesty
                 of mistakes, trials, and sorrows.’
Who cried for him, cried past rest;
and nestled at last
                 within a web of insulate pain.

"Yet another died -- as with a shout, he cried:
My death shall be avenged, by all brave women and men!’
I would not bury him --though the very oceans weep--,
but I laid him ‘neath the setting of the sun,
                 for all mankind to see, and justly grieve:
the epiphany of me -- flesh of my flesh, pain of my pain. . .
My heart is full. . . still. . . sealed. . . . . .contained."



Now the vultures come --grey carrions of death--:
they pick, pluck, peck,
at his flesh with cruel-eyed intent,
                 and crudely jest:

" ‘I will save thee.’ Ha!, mock call!
Who will save thee this day?
So few would enter in, and stay."
And as they incessantly peck at his bile in rude thrusts,
                 they even smile,
because "It is not He," they say.

Humanity, humanity, will you not be saved?
And the martyrs bleed.
And hypocrites pray,

One by one.
Now they plunder, and disarray the nest.
The land is bereft of trees.
Children weep.
Grief. . . . has expended its war. . .-born. . . toll. . . .
Now the sentries wait.

"The guardians of my heart are crimson, dark, and green..
The guardians of the wall are brute, and grey.
Weep not, my little child, for I do encircle thee,
                 though this day, your dye is cast:
Though flanked by liars and thieves!,’
                 they say,
this day you are christened:
crowned in autumn leaves, and bedecked in new-fallen snow:
You’ll be not afraid, you’ll see a road,
                 you’ll know a way.

"Your greens have turned to amber now,
your golds will blaze and fade:
                 no longer a child to be.
You’ll set upon a long, untrammelled road,
to set my people free!
And though all men may deny your faith,
and though no man may know your name --
Though you’d be defamed!,
day lead forth a company. . . .
                 of daughters, and sons.

"Think. But think not,
‘Who will choose? Who will stand? Who will stay?
                 Who will lose. . . all?. .
(What had you to find,
                 lost child? incipient warrior? antithetical god?)
You must move on this ominous day,
                 whate’er befall your fate!
For I have made a covenant with thee.
appear to be in chains.
Yet I shall leave thee . . . . .
. . .

"Only three things did I ask:
That you vow to move on; though every sign may read, ‘No hope.’
That you know you are right; though every step are your feet alone.
That you never turn back.
                 --And some said, ‘I will see.’
                 And some cried, It is pain!’
                 And some claimed, ‘I need thee
                 past victory, agony, . . .or demise.’

"But still the covenant remains, if only one its honor give.
                 For as I live, I would share all with thee.
                             And with. . . each. . .
torn fiber of my time-worn heart,
                 I proclaim,
Yet all I would say, you would never listen.

"Thus you must weep, and you must bleed, and you must grieve.
Yet you must
spoke for all, I spoke for each one,
that none would defend, nor hear, nor save.
I spoke to free each slave, from unjust shares, ruthless gains,
the power men crave.
I spoke of prisons, youth, and unsung graves. . . .
None spoke more true, none spoke more brave.
Yet you must speak, too,
             where the un-spoken --devastatingly!--. . . failed:

                 "The deliberate mercies; the reckless affirmations;
                  the joy feigned, and the agony well-concealed.
                  It did its work too well, in a way. . .

"But if this earth continues to quake
                 --race against race, war after war--,
If the bondage will not break,
                 for laureates will not rise to the fore --
If the valiant will not stand,
                 to defend their own, though laid waste is their land!
If you deny the oppressed a home,
                  or leave this call to fend alone,
                              then . . though. . .

"all this heart would render Aa--ches
                 --you’ll not feel its pain, you’ll not heed its law--
Though my heart for you asunder

BRE--------- - EA--K-S
. .
. .
. . . .Then shall I speak no more,
                then shall I
speak. . . .
. . .no more."

(Pause. Then slowly begin:)



The song ri--ses. . . from a thousand un-marked graves,
                 its strains fi-l-tering through thin--. . . dawn--. . .
Wrestling to expound in a dark, un-certain key;
to express in wa---vering tones
                 a dirge too low to justly grieve,
                 a song too weak for a too-wrong death!!
One voice rises higher than foul-decaying flesh,
"All power to thee!"
where even spec-tres scarcely cry. . . . .

"Arise! Arise! The last shall fall to thee.

The last shall fall
. . . . to thee. . ."

You longed for interpretation. But
the interpreter is gone.
The play is done. Now you the player shall be.
Only the silent voice within speaks plain,
                  to you, true bearer of the faith:

You stand alone.
Hence I send you forth.
Through calvaries of night, on this pilgrimage
                 of dry dust, and bliss--tering rain.

Though men be blind, you see a distant light.
Though men be dumb, you speak with fervent tongue --
Yet all you greet are blind, and deaf, and dumb. . . .

And so --unwavering!--, you climb the wall,
though men’s brut-e guns wai-t- at your fee-t-, hois-t-
the swee-t- child aloft your shoulder blades,
                 to meet-/ your call:

With your left hand, you secure his hold.
With your right hand now, you lift
                 a proud torch, and journey on --
                             unfed, unbedded, unshorn:



BLACK Prometheus!, your face is rich-ly dark,
                 and no fire-flies guide your feet.
your flames are pure --
Prometheus!, wanderer through ten thousand
                 nights and days -- first, last
to endure this earth’s cruel sacrifice fate.
Prometheus, you are verdant black:
                 dark, yet green;
                 Strafed. Yet exudant of life!
Prometheus, you are black. . . . proud tower of light:

Shine forth!, Cry out!, Cry loud!, Cry FREE-------. . .
Cry grief, Promethean one,
                 for all this darkening world --alas!-- has need of thee,
                              yet turns, turns, turns:

None will feel the pure, still heart of Thee,
None will speak Thy words of life.
Nor take this surrogate plight, turns,
Thy mountain glimmerrr----------s
with a light too bright for Man to see!
None see that no sun pours down light more ra--diant
                 than your brave eyes--
, turns, turns:

Prometheus spurned! Bound.
Yet free-----. . .
A vulture’s glee are your inward wounds and pains --
                 makes mockery of your chains--

Yet still this self-same tragedy confirms:
Mankind, not Thee, is doomed.
Mankind has bound himself in chains!!:

Go forth, Prometheus!!, from this A----LIEN RACE!!!!
To another clime, to another time and place.
                 Where your face is not
"An anathema!"
. . .to the blind; nor your words
"A blasphemy!"
. . .to the deaf.
Where free beings speak --
where dreams are left behind,
                 for goodness lives. . . . .
                 "No one knows me, why I give all. . ."



Then . . ., at some fine, indeterminate point of distant reckoning:
you will be seen as a rising, waxing star -- Aye.
Too late, too dim, too far. . .
Seen and known to raise the very angels from their rest. . .
to tread the purest edge of quickening sun. . . .
Bid each, last, grief-laden one a new farewell --
                 smile; nod; "Be bra----ve."
Wave one last, fast-fading farewell. . . . .
                 Pity the earth-- hell-- grave. Then
. . . . . . .

To eternally tread that path forlorn,
from dawn, to dawn. . .( the beginning there will always
. .but/ thee. . .) to
Di--- -i-----mmm------ly fil-------tering
                 daw------nn--.-nnnn". . .

..n-. . . nnn- the tears flow now fi--nally --
in full, pouring torrents
of bitter-sweet, salt. . . . and dusky rain.
Who you would have taken with you!
Yet so few would chance the rude, hard journey
                 to the very heart . . . of the
                 most . shining . five . pointed . star. . .

How many you would have taken with you!
                 But now, it will all be too late. . . . .
Now it is not a matter of who you would
                 --with full, sweet-willing heart!--
carry aloft your back.
Now it is all --only!--
what you would leave. . . to remain.
Your mission of rescue has become -
a mission . . . .of legacy.



Yet your heart i---s still.
Not a moment’s waver, not a shade.
You’d lay down your hallowed, yet weary frame.
Even humble yourself to be called just,
                 "the last of men; the first of saints."

For them to trample, scorn, and maim --
For them to castigate, denigrate, and shame--

SPI-------- RI-------------TT!!"

For only the non-flesh-ridden to extol
NA----------------AA-------------------mmme------. . .

© Laurie Efrein Kahalas



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