Last night I was honoured to be invited to Malmesbury Abbey to take part in a poetry evening. This gave me the opportunity to share some of my poems alongside several other local poets. And what a wonderful evening it was. Here is what I shared:
Over the last few years I have written a poem a year as a meditation on a different part of the Easter story. For each poem I have tried to immerse myself into the scene and capture with words something of the experience, both the visual and emotional impact. My journey through Holy Week will be read by different voices, I hope you find the experience enlightening.
Hurrying, requesting, untying,
Crowds jostling, pressing and vying,
Spreading, smoothing coats, uplifting King,
Gates closed. Pause. Waiting to be let in.
Expectant hush for radiant bride,
Sun pours forth Son, doors flung open wide,
Shouts of jubilant acclamation,
City’s stones reverberation.
Majesty clothed in humility,
Shouldering peace for humanity,
Enraptured children weaving the crowd,
Spirits bursting with fresh praise aloud.
Vibrant coats flourished, palm branches danced,
Here is our longed for Lord at last,
Black blots conniving in the corner,
Reminding: it is not yet finished.
How can my master be my servant too?
Stooping, untying sandals caked with grime,
In tender strength his hands my feet renew,
His garment white is soiled in drying mine,
With laughter, celebrations fill the air,
Punctuated by sombre lifted cup,
Imbued new meaning to salvation share,
Away stole stealthy satan covered up,
He breaks, dividing bread the mystery,
Off’ring redemption’s sacrifice for all,
Into the darkness, hymns from slavery,
Up mount we climb in silence of nightfall,
Shall I my master all in this deny?
The rest may go, but surely Lord, not I!
Part 1 – Death Friday
Hounded, helpless, horror uphill,
Mocking jeers crescendo,
Death’s stench, dark in despairing dread,
Oppressing fear’s echo.
Piercing soulful eyes fixated,
Hope hanging, subsiding, drowning,
Dignity dies, my shame.
Part 2 – Life Sunday
Night’s black breaking: light’s dawn dancing,
Hurry quickening feet,
Heady spices; heavy grieving,
Overwhelmed – crumpled heap.
Erupting anguish obscuring
Gardener’s playful delight,
Agony’s deep yearning, aching,
Exploding joyful elation,
Spirit’s music exclaims,
Touching, soaring – soul suspended,
Jesus beckons my name!