the imperfect 10

It is a long time since I have written. However, reflecting on Sunday’s gospel lectionary reading brought me to this place:

JesusHealsTenLepers6

they walk forgotten and at large

these strangers

this forbidden company

but who are you to name or un-name them?

the, not quite, perfect 10!

skin crawls,

scowls face them and fingers point

while their digits are subtracted from sight

but who are you to name or un-name them?

the, not quite, perfect 10!

and if they ask for a gift from heaven,

would you even hear their voices here?

your seclusion as effective as their exclusion

and who are you to name or un-name them?

this, not quite, perfect 10!

so nine walk away while one falls down

offers his praise to heaven.

can you blame them?

as you judge their backs and determine

they are, not, a perfect 10!

Goodbye Kiss

Had desire to write a poem for the first time in a while. It is the nature of this night: Maundy Thursday

the pen
trembles
to speak of what has passed
this night:

he folded his clothes for the last time,
ordered his departure
though no one saw
him not pack
as he prepared
for the desertion of his lovers.

they faded in the face of their own fickleness.

forlorn, he knelt.
blood: testimony of his dedication?
it betrayed a deeper anxiety
that what would pass
would not pass
from his lips,
instead it stained him outside
and in

a kiss that sticks from the lips of a friend.

Jesus&Judas(Jamie Higgins)

Three steps to Pentecost

Silence intimidates

breaks complacence

with inconsolable soundless shrieks

that terrorise

strip back courage to a foetal vulnerability.

 

ii

Gathering

waiting

the wind disturbs

then tongues burn with words

that turn

senselessness to meaning.

 

iii

The fire licks

the tongue trips

over unfamiliar formulations

of syllables

that make a sentence with words

that sound absurd

except to those who hear their own parlance. 

 

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

 

i

 

doors locked,

they hold the air in stagnant stasis

an undivided stench of defeat

despite whispers to the contrary

 

suffocated by panic

fear’s fingers close over mouths

around hearts

constricting hope

 

despite the breath she struggles

to breathe in to familiar lives

 

 

ii

 

no wonder one escapes

to walk his fear in streets that remind

of what was taken, done, destroyed

 

does he sit in an empty tomb

a vacated womb

where, only remaining,

a vacant shroud,

scented with possibilities

lays still discarded on stone.

 

he alone

to watch and wonder.

reminding him the One is born

no longer here

but gone

 

 

iii

 

the room is broken

by the presence of defiance

as scars declare

a disregard

for death’s mistaken power

 

Peace be with you

 

probing fingers penetrating scars

to hold doubt at bay

 

receiving,

believing,

 

they are still prisoners

in a way

 

 

iv

 

the fear in the one who was absent,

but present to the world,

returns in wonder

a reminder

that for all they have touched

been given

they still have not risked

the light of the world.

 

 

Day 47, Luke 24.1-12: The Testimony of Witnesses

Hear my idle tale.

I do not care about your disbelief,

test it if you must,

but know his body is not claimed by dust.

 

Here there is emptiness

that is not bleak despairing.

Instead hear the whispers of angels

who defy reason

and shake the foundations

that once made you secure

like the door that sealed the dead.

 

The unmovable is displaced,

as the sand is imprinted with studded footprints.

 

The Determination of the Rejected

Strange to write a poem inspired by Karl Barth – but this was. It drew on his reflections of the anointing of Jesus which so disturbed the disciples.

 

 

Who are the some that gather here

to question the ointment, and the tears,

of she who kneels at dusty feet

and prepares a bed of spices sweet,

 

yet soured by the salt of grief?

They bring neither freedom or relief

from death who stands with waiting word

as doubt deems plausible the absurd.

 

Death, the harbinger of decay,

awaits the whisper. Words betray

the secret fears of the devout

which rise amidst the violent shouts.