“Upon that head”: An Ascensiontide poem

Upon the head that once a virgin laid,
All swaddled, in a manger’s straw-filled bed
Now rest all heaven’s glories and its crown;
The man who on a barren mountain sat
To teach the crowds the truth they would not heed
Now sits at God’s right hand, and on his throne,
Until all foes, subdued, have bent the knee.
Upon his brow, once scourged by mocking thorns,
Now meet “all wreaths of empire”; in his hands,
Which on the tree stretched wide in selfless love,
He bears the iron rod of rightful rule—
A justice, equity, the peoples fear.
But see, those nail-pierced feet, which ran with blood
When he for us, and in our place endured,
Now stand for our defense before the throne—
No better advocate could any hope to have!
For he who on the cross was lifted up
For our salvation, then to hell went low
And in three days arose to life anew,
Was lifted up again—that when he comes,
And all his people rise to welcome him,
The earth “may see, and fear,” and stand in awe.

I wrote this poem—in bits and pieces, fits and starts—over the last couple of weeks so that I could post something suitable for the day after the anniversary of the Christ’s ascension into heaven. I drew heavily from various hymns, some seasonal and some not, and creeds for inspiration and for wording, and decided to consider as a source of connections each stage of his earthly life in order.

As always, I earnestly welcome your comments, suggestions, questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. (In other words, if you liked this poem, or you didn’t like it, or it made you think of something, or … please leave a comment to let me know.) If you liked this, you can follow this blog, which includes one of my poems every Friday, or read other poems I’ve written here on my blog (starting with yesterday’s archive installment, since the full archive is by now, at well over a hundred poems, somewhat daunting); I’d especially like to know which poems you think are my best. You may also share it with others, subject to my sharing policy.

This poem is also archived on my wiki.

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