Time Jesum Transeuntum et non Riverentum

Ever since I have started rediscovering poetry and trying to write more of it, I am coming to a place where my style of poetry flirts with the fine line between flash fiction and poetry.  Sometimes it’s simply hard to distinguish the two.

A perfect example is from what I have always thought was some of the most brilliant recorded words in the past 25 years or so.  I’m a Nick Cave fan and for the most part, his lyrics are brilliant anyway.  But his odd poem-song titled Time Jesum Transeuntum et non Riverentum is amazing.  The lyrics always give me chills and actually inspired the current Still Untitled Paranormal Series I am working on.

So here are the lyrics and a YouTube video so that you can hear the music if you want (it’s actually quite beautiful).  Tell me what you think…would you conisder this flash or poetry?

We were called to the forest and we went down.
A wind blew warm and eloquent
We were searching for the secrets of the universe
and we rounded up demons and forced them to tell us what it all meant
We tied ’em to trees and broke them down one by one
And on a scrap of paper, they wrote these words;
and as we read them, the sun broke through the trees:
“Dread the passage of Jesus, for he will not return.”

Then we headed back to our world and left the forest behind,
our hearts singin’ with all the knowledge of love.
Then somewhere, somehow, we lost the message along the way.
And when we got home, we bought ourselves a house.
And we bought a car that we did not use.
And we bought a cage and two singing birds.
And at night we’d sit and listen to the canary’s song.
For we’d both run right out of words.

Now the stars, they are all angled wrong
and the sun and the moon refuse to burn.
But I remember a message in a demon’s hand
“Dread the passage of Jesus for he does not return.”
He does not return.



  1. Poetry, but I don’t really see why it can’t be both! I don’t think I can trust people who don’t love Nick Cave. It’s just too freaky to imagine. (Well, unless they’ve not known about him, in which case you’ve just done everyone a solid.)

    Man, anything inspired by this has got to be killer. Love to hear more about it.

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