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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Have a Peaceful and Reflective Ressurrection Sunday.

Somehow or other, Easter just sneaked up on me this year. Normally, I spend some time thinking about the Lord's sacrifice, the hard road to the cross, the mocking, the empty tomb. Maybe you're there too. You just got too busy, and then, here it is, the anniversary of our Savior's rising from the dead. Here's poem I wrote a few years back. It's a sestina, so you'll notice the repetition of 7 words throughout. I hope the poem draws you into His presence and reminds you of events long ago…


Silver and Red

Jerusalem’s dusty streets watch money changing hands
among the robed merchants, traders who parley silver
for gain. In the sepulchral halls where lush tapestries kiss
the cold stone behind the throne of the chief priests in their red
robes, it is no different. A solitary creature, bent with burden, has come across
their hallowed threshold to hammer

out a deal. Whispering oaths and an offer, his heart hammers
with fear, indecision. All the while he holds out his sweating hands
to the holy men. Phylacteries weigh lightly on each priestly brow and ghastly smiles cross
their lips for a triumphant moment as they smugly deliver thirty silver
pieces for a life. Reclining later with his rabbi at a table of bread pale and wine red,
he feels on his thigh the electric chill of the new coins, like a harlot’s kiss

teasing. Fleeting like a tryst, the wealth leaves him empty--the betraying kiss
delivered later that night costs his life--and more. A hammer
strikes a bell with forlorn finality as the soldiers with their drawn swords and red
torches surround the gentle man, roughly bind his hands
like a common thief. Marching down the mountain with moonlight silver
upon breastplate and helm, they drag their outlaw across

the streets where he mended lame legs and gave sight to many, though cross
and bitter men chose to stay blind. Made to kiss
the ground before the lofty seat and silver
signet ring of the Roman Governor, he rises to one knee, is hammered
with questions. No guilt found but pressed by mobs, the leader washes his hands
of blame only to gouge the name Pilate red

on the stark scrolls of history. The frenzied crowd, seething red
faces, demand a murderer set free while the innocent one goes to the splintered cross.
Centurions mock the condemned man, placing a reed scepter in his hands,
a scarlet robe on his now flayed back, and, upon the head once kissed
by Mary, a crown of biting thorns. Jeering words hammer
him worse than blows: Save yourself! Prophesy, who struck you? The same silver

centurions force him prone on a wooden beam. The captain removes one silver
nail from a leather pouch. Anticipating the explosion of red,
the captain turns his head just slightly, brings the hammer
down three times. Jerusalem’s skyline, stained as his cross
is raised, darkens but the stifling heat remains. Not even a kiss
from a gentle breeze to relieve his agony as life drains from his feet, his hands.

Memory of that brutal hammer haunted Judas and crosses
time. Will we covet silver above red
or kiss, pierced for us all, His sweet scarred hands?

6 comments:

WayneThomasBatson said...

Sorry about the size of the font. The formatting of the poem wouldn't quite work out.

everlastingscribe said...

Very striking, hits right at the heart. Thanks for sharing, and you have peaceful, and fun filled Ressurrection Sunday as well.

Brett said...

Happy Easter Mr. Batson! I hope you have a wonderful day. You're such an inspiration to all of us here. God bless you!

PatShand said...

That was a wonderful poem.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Thanks all.

Aravis said...

I wrote one of those once, it is quite a challenge.

Thank you for sharing it.