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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter to All!

The following is a rePost from last year. This is a 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?

14 comments:

Elliot Reed said...

That's a really well writen poem. Yes, I caught many of the repeating words. It is truly sad to see how some people will covet money so much that they are willing to betray men they once called "master". Great thoughts, and great poem!

~Elliot

Araken said...

That's incredible. I got the repeating words too. Excellently written.

the lion hearted said...

That's a REALLY good poem! It's so well written, and also shows the Easter story in neat perspective. Great job, and write on!

Ian said...

Didn't really get the repeating words....I think that "red" might have been one of them...

That poem gives a really amazing view on the truth of the easter story. It's plenty enough to open one's eyes a bit...such as mine....to what really happened.

:)Ian(:

Matt Stvan said...

Excellent poem...I didn't see it when I was going through all you previous posts. You are truly gifted at writing. God Bless!

P.S. HE IS RISEN!

fire phoenix said...

Great poem!
So why did Judas do it?
I heard that, in Jesus' time, 30 pieces of silver were worth nothing.

Ian said...

I think He did it because someone had to betray Jesus, so maybe God put nasty feelings into his heart. OF course, I doubt that God would force anyone to commit such evil...I dunno. :S

:)Ian(:

Pais Charos said...

That was a good poem. The only repeating words I caught were red and silver ... perhaps cross as well.

Araken said...

'hammer'! I saw 'hammer' a lot! And 'silver' and 'red' and 'hands, and 'kiss', and 'cross/across'. What's the 7th?

S. J. Deal said...

Nice. :D

Justin B. said...

I once wrote a sestina for Creative Writing class, and I must say it is definitely a difficult feat and I must commend you for writing one which evokes so much emotion and really puts the image of Jesus's crucification visually in your head. That was excellent,so do you have anymore poetry?

Hannah.S. said...

That was so excellent. I haven't been on this site in a while (I've been so busy) and that was really good to read. Thank you!
~Hannah

Hannah.S. said...

I just heard that 30 pieces of silver was the price of a slave. Amazing isn't it?

Shelby Marie said...

That was...amazing...very well written. I'm not sure I'd be capable of writing one of those sestina things myself...
As for the thirty pieces of silver...I learned in church that it was the equivalent of about fifteen dollars today! Sad, isn't it?