New item from Michael Davidson
Jesus' Passion in Poetry
Stretched on that rock amidst olive trees
in abject fear blood breaks through your skin.
Startled at your traitor’s kiss,
you go to carry the curse of our sin.
Pilate with icy, stony heart
turns you over to torturers’ hands.
To play the king was to be your part,
but you are surely in command.
Lashed to a pillar by your wrists
you bear the lashes of a stone-faced legionary.
For this you came to visit us –
from love for wanton Gentiles and Jewry.
Your hand clutches at smooth, cream flagstones
when you fall under more brutal beatings,
as if to fulfil your wish to own
and embrace the city under your wings.
Your mother from the crowd appears,
her heart warm but woebegone.
Strengthened by her tender tears
you set your face like flint and struggle on.
Up the craggy hillside you creep in readiness;
iron strikes iron, you cry out in anguish.
Your words from the cross of forgiveness
soften my heart, so hard and peevish.
Laid on a cold slab, all hope abandoned;
does mercy in the Father’s heart smoulder?
Morning breaks, the tomb is unburdened;
what hand rolled away the boulder?
On the pebbly shore of Galilee’s Sea
tragedy has turned to honour and glory;
you are alive as your fishermen can see.
As you tell them and tell us – proclaim my story!