“Crowds”

“Hosanna! Savior, hail!” the masses cried
To greet their rightful King, though in their hearts
They shouted more to strain the chafing bonds
That long-oppressive Rome had laid on them
Than from true fealty to God’s anointed.

Not one week later, these same thronging crowds,
Incited by their leaders’ selfish plots
And stirred up into frenzied lust for blood,
Now clamored for their King to be condemned,
Abused, accursed, and put to gruesome death.

As he trudged through the streets, and up the hill,
Then hung in agony for his last hours,
The multitudes passed by to mock his end
Or stood to shout more scorn, but he was silent,
Suffering the bitter fate he chose
Without complaint, and even speaking grace
To those who tortured him before he died.

At last he breathed his final mortal breath
And cried his work’s completion to the sky;
An earthquake marked the opening of the way
That greater multitudes thereafter tread
Who have been, by his sufferings, brought to peace.

Photograph of Golgotha by an unknown photographer

I had long intended to write a poem for Good Friday, or at least for Holy Week, as in several of the last few years, but the first glimmers of an idea for the above only came to me less than a week ago.

As always, I earnestly welcome your comments, questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. If you’d like to read more of my poetry, you can read my archive (also organized in more manageable installments), follow this blog for (now only occasional) new poetry (among other things), or get my book, which contains over sixty of my best poems, each paired with a public-domain illustration or drawing. You may also share this poem with others, subject to my sharing policy.

“God has ordained a justice”

God has ordained a justice in this world:
“What a man sows, he soon shall also reap.”
But not one man of all of Adam’s sons—
No man or woman, save only the Christ—
Has sowed to God and righteousness alone,
And weedy Vice will choke out Virtue’s wheat.
Have mercy on us, great and gracious Lord!
Deliver us from pits that we have dug,
And hedge us in, till we no longer walk
Along the easy road that leads to death.

This poem came to me earlier this week, after I’d been thinking over what to post for this first Friday in Lent, especially after (as I mentioned after last week’s poem) the poem I had been working on was lost.

As always, I earnestly welcome your (further) comments, suggestions (perhaps of a real title for this poem?), questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. If you liked this, you can follow this blog, which includes one of my poems nearly every Friday, or read other poems I’ve written (perhaps starting with those linked from one of the “archive” installments, since the full archive is by now, at over two hundred poems, somewhat daunting). You may also share this poem with others, subject to my sharing policy.

This poem is also mirrored on my wiki.

“Repentance”

You’ve set reflections of your glory’s fire,
O Lord, in human faces you have made,
And I have written verse that called them fair
And called them “my beloved” with my sighs,
Then feeling—as I thought—my highest joys
When I but shared a hall, and breath, with them.
But surely all this glory came from you;
To you alone should heights of praise be given,
And fervent love be offered first to you.
For now I would repent me of this sin—
That I have loved, in deeds of thought and word,
These images above Whom they reflect,
The creature over her Creator-Lord.
Forgive my errant foolishness, O Lord,
And teach me always to lift up my gaze
And find delight in best and clearest form
In you alone, as I was made to do.

I wrote this in a few stages a couple of weeks ago, starting after my family sang “Fairest Lord Jesus” as our evening hymn. I decided to post it today, as somewhat suitable to both of the two previous days, Ash Wednesday and St. Valentine’s Day.

As always, I earnestly welcome your (further) 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 (perhaps starting with those linked from one of the “archive ” installments, since the full archive is by now, at well over a hundred poems, somewhat daunting); I’d especially like to know, as part of my preparations for a collection, which poems you think are my best. You may also share this poem with others, subject to my sharing policy.

This poem is also mirrored on my wiki.

Ashes

Ashes.

For dust I am, and to dust I shall return.

For of myself I am dead, and without any hope; indeed, my only hope lies in the death of what semblance of life I have, by participation in the death of the Christ.

And I am not my own; I belong to Jesus Christ, for I have been bought at a price.

Because of this, I ought not to live lightly, or flippantly, according to the pattern of this rebellious world and the sin to which I once was bound, but rather to pattern my life after its Maker and rightful Master.

And so it is fitting to, in the forty days each year before the anniversary of the Resurrection, reflect and meditate on these truths and on the sufferings of the Christ by which our—my—redemption was accomplished, setting aside lesser things in favor of the eternal and important.