The Gower Pilgrim

The steps of ancients have walked this way,

searching out for easement of earthly sorrows,

seeking souls to bring to an earthy paradise

or expiating their sins with hunger and sorrow,

opening a way for newer treads of modern soles

to journey through the patient places of Gower.

——

Weary living brings the purposeful pilgrim,

eyes  tired of seeing a tense troubled world,

intent on travelling in the holy, loving heart

of a being who reaches through thin places,

where angels hover to assist the seekers and

wounded hands long to hold their burdens.

——

The trail winds though the coastal paths,

down lanes, passing lichen covered trees,

toiling farmers’ friendly waves, tumbling 

water alongside frantically buzzing bees 

searching the wayside sweet flowers, 

and villages of folk, tend loved gardens.

——-

Each step brings new things, a wren calls

and overhead a buzzard hungrily stares.

Waterproofs are stowed against the moods

of the wide sky crafting its treasures hourly;

where the sojourner on the sacred way, 

soul rumbling, is hungry for a holy touch.

——

And so, the pilgrimage takes our hands,

feeding us with grace in the incompleteness

of existence and fuelling us for an unsteady

future; and invites us to take kindly comfort 

to sustain our strength, hearten our prayers

and be broken bread to all our neighbours.

The Crucifixion

Jesus gasped for a breath, 

the pain reached everywhere,

the burning in is hands and feet,

his skin burnt in the strong sun,

the flies and ants and birds all

preying on his precious blood.

——

And I saw people from every nation,

every creed, every age, every tribe,

and they knelt before him and bowing

their heads worshipped him, and rising

cheered for the wonder of a God who

accepted horror, mutilation and death

rather than succumb to power and 

domination. A God who is ever thus.

——–

Jesus looked out and saw the crowd,

He saw the proud, the oppressor, the

rapist, sadist, warmongers and those

who had mete out injustice, abusers

of children and bore the torture with

hope in his heart that they will hear,

they will repent, and become like

cherished children and his beloved.

———

The pain tore into his mind,

It burned in his soul and searched

out each weakness. In agony he so

longed for his father and found him

gone. “Eloi, Eloi. Why have you

forsaken me?” he cried; and found it

echoed in the emptiness of a lie. For

Yahweh was there, lashed, nailed, 

bleeding and dying on the cross.

The Gethsemane of the last Supper

Blood, boils, frogs, hail, came the children’s cries,

and soft silence as they remembered the first born 

sons – like me, he thought and will I be recalled? 

He watched their faces, joined in the swell, but

shakily. His last feast with his family of meandering

men and wise women before violence and death.

—-

His hands shook as he felt the bite of the lash, as

he dipped the bread in the bitter, sharp herbs, “This

is my body which is given for you.” Eyes in shock

stare at the pieces and ate as asked, while Mary

felt the sharpness of a sword in her chilled heart. 

She watched as he tearfully lifted the cup of wine,

—–

Elijah unreturned? No, for he claimed it for their own,

stumbling, stunned silence filled the Upper Room.

‘I will not share this feast with you again.” the words

like blows rained down on their drunken merriment,

like that riven sea, rushing, raining down upon them.

He looked at their old, young faces, he so loved,

The children he’d blessed. How would they even

remember this night before tomorrow? A sign he

gives of a promise of forgiveness and grace, into

the gloom he says,“Remember my love. Drink, 

the promise, a cup of forgiveness and hope

for all souls, to be sealed with my own blood.”

He walked alone with them to Gethsemane. He

carried in his heart the unborn child, the abused,

the oppressed, the violent, the warmonger, the

tyrant, the slaver and the slave, the hypocrites

and the helpless – filling his thoughts til he knelt,

in agony and wept, “Father, your will be done.”