John Bekkos in jail
September 1, 2007
John Bekkos was a patriarch,
a patriarch, they say.
He lived in Constantinople,
a place so far away.
He kept his mind in good repair,
but it made him lots of foes,
so they sent him to Bithynia
where the cold north wind still blows.
John Bekkos was a righteous man:
he helped those who were weak.
But the Emperor got tired of it,
and he wouldn’t let him speak.
And later, when the times had changed
and Bekkos lost his job,
the soldiers led him out before
an angry, howling mob.
John Bekkos hated phoniness;
he found it hard to take
when people made a case for war
with reasons that were fake.
He tried to argue peace between
the Latins and the Greeks,
but the people wanted none of it,
and the stinking case still reeks.
John Bekkos spent his final years
in prison by the sea,
high up in a tower
in the fort St. Gregory.
He wrote his books by candlelight
till his eyes began to fail,
then, seven hundred years ago,
John Bekkos died in jail.
Sometimes I get to wondering
what makes this world go round,
and if there’s any reason
for the evils that abound.
I think about the man whose hands
to a solid cross were nailed,
and I think about John Bekkos
in his cold and windy jail.