Alone by Abraham he watching stands
And turns to John the Cousin as they smile
Isaiah grins at Moses laughing while
Judith and Esther wait in garland bands
Now righteous pagans rise to hear the trial
Lao tzu has joined him and Gautama too
The final stanzas of hells songs are through
And yawning gapes the maw of death most vile
As light breaks open hades darkened rue
And angels chaining demons part the throng
Comes Jesus here to one for whom he’s long
Been grieving. Joseph, Daddy, chaste and true
And riven hell releases hist’ry’s clans
As Son and Abba weep ore claspéd hands
The darken’d Sun turns sharply to the West
The crying women now a muffl’d sound
The crowds still gaping silent stand around
The Roman circus ceases to molest
The body nearly now by life unbound
Unseen the Angels horror gathering now
Penultimate redemption’s dying bow
In spittle blood and urine stains the ground
Divinely plan’d this death he will endow
With life enclos’d in Jesus holy grasp
And univers’ly shared in dying gasp
Tho questing Faith sees not nor questions how
As Satan opens Hell For Heaven’s guest
The victor’s crying Consumatus Est!
This is my last sonnet for 2018… but more will come. There’s 16 more, I think, in the list for Holy Week.
He’s walking, Jesus walking. Bloody stain
upon the ground. He’s falling, Jesus falls.
& up. He’s walking, falling. Soldier calls
St Simon out of Crowds to help attain
Golgotha’s lofty height. Once more he stalls
But rising rushes on the Masses’ need
To fill and bakers dough to bend and knead
fo serve beneath the cross that crushes all.
We’re walking people walking, souls to lead
Golgotha-ward to Jesus bleeding feet
it’s upwards still and onwards angels beat
their wings in glory as our souls we feed.
If Jesus cross our pathways do maintain
Like him for God our Ego’s greed is slain
Barabbas, Father’s Son, your story’s end
unknown your Genesis unsaid. You mark
at Jesus side the choice twixt life and stark
and nameless death. Are even you a friend?
You saw how Life Himself for you the Dark
Descending brav’d, the raving mob endur’d
the pillory the cross the spear assur’d
that you could freely fly from Pilate’s clark
and yet aren’t you by sacrifice allur’d
a bit? this quiet man who deathward goes
ne’er fending for himself nor pain nor woes
addressing. ‘Til at last your death is cur’d
and does a saintly name your story close
your name unwrit by holy waters’ flows?
Crack Forty times & more the lashes sting
The flesh of God which breaded now we eat
is turned at pillory to bloody meat
as Roman biceps leaded whips make sing
Cut loose exhausted falle he at their feet
awaiting his awakening a game
the Romans play, arranging him the same
as Caesar Mock’d upon a bloody seat
In purple robes & thornèd crown his name
the very name of Love they jeer as hate
& truth Himself is by their lies made wait
his going to the last salvific game
but what for all the world seems cruel fate
is but divinely plotted switch & bait.
To Pilate sent to Herod then and back
A hot political potato pass’d
Unwantedly between them til at last
The cock crow raises dawn which secrets lack
To Pilate sent the final die to cast
Here Jesus stands awaiting human call
alignment with the will divine as all
Things will for those that won’t won’t last
To Pilate sent the Mater’s Plan won’t stall
he’s here at last confirm’d to death. & life
Can see its hope as demons join the strife
Mistak’d that God at last himself shall fall
This Criminal of Love at Dawn’s first crack
From Pilate sent for scourges’ lashing hack
Come Brethren here in darkness let us meet
Transparency and light we can’t abide
The people’s sleeping dreams our secrets hide
this man will stand before our anger’s heat
Aside my friends here comes he now aside!
And say, Reb Jesus, what will you today?
Did not your words blaspheming bend and sway
to shake our people off the Torah’s hide?
Adjure you now I ‘fore these men! Display
if you Messiah be then manfully
declare it here where all may hear in the
be-custom’d way of you to clearly say
one word. If you but dare to claim his seat.
Are you the Christ? The high priest did repeat.
Now Peter, liar, rock, Apostle, friend
Here come I carefully to you: for pot
& kettle are both black. May we be not
by prayer that far each from the other’s end.
The Priceless One betray’d by campfire hot:
Your Galilean drawl just cant. Yet I
like you without a legal threat will try
To hide by options crafty, Christ forgot.
Dear Peter, threats make you our Christ belie.
and watching here in pity & with fear
We hear betrayal as the dawn grows near:
Despair not lest away you trod & die.
Lo e’en the very Church’s rock will bend
Until unfailing grace God to him send.
In lunar brilliancy they walking show
mid leafy branches’ budding scented bloom
& grasses warmed in vernal sun now groom
Gethsemane, in paschal light aglow.
We waiting here, he forward goes for room
To falling, praying, moaning, sighing, bled
To sobbing, straining, weeping, sweating, red
Till far away is heard the tramp of doom
Apostles wake upon their grassy bed
To find the traitor with the temple guards
Is come. And boldly striding cross the yards
Afore Messiah stop’d he smiling said
Hail Master! Teacher surly me you know.
by words and kissing both the nails in go.
He wash’d their feet & now would make them free:
a mundane miracle will here combine.
The God-Man bids that man on God will dine
& unity in daily liturgy
These common building blocks of bread & wine
our Saviour takes into his holy hands
& those, around him sat, his love commands
in mystic rites to make all men divine.
The Apostolic preaching in all lands
will be enliven’d by this bread. God gives
to Church her dancing food. She moves & lives
By sacraments now altar’d by Christ’s hands.
Salt, flour, water, grapes, & yeast we see
yet very flesh & blood of God they be.