Love

Those eyes, I look and see myself as he does,

He stares back with leisurely love,

It never wavers,

Each tiny cell speaking peace,

Each lash and brow saying, “Hush.”

Challenged I watch those eyes that watched the children play,

and Blessed them,

turned to the blind and dumb,

and healed them,

looked into the eyes of the broken,

and gave them back a life,

turned the shame of the rejected 

into the warmth of welcome.

greeted the unloved with kindness

and saw them beloved.

I watch and am warmed again.

The Road to Emmaus

We were walking between fields spotted with red anemones,

corn growing strong, and across the greened land the trees

lifted their faces to the lowering sun and the growing dark.

—–

The air felt cool on our tight skin, and the sour smell of dust 

rose up in our footsteps with the grief in our harried hearts.

We doubted that he died. We believed him dead. And then,

——

some women with herbs in their hands said he was living.

We walked home talking and thinking, tears and hope both

intermingled with the words in our heads from Mary, Joanna

——

and the others. I trudged, so tired that I felt that I was wading

in the mud of the shallows of the Jordan, my head ached as

with each muddled moment I dragged myself wearily along.

——-

A man caught us up. And, for a while was content to match his

stride with ours. He then saw our expressions and questioned. 

We told the baffling story of a man brutally crucified who speaks, 

——–

defies all we know of the world to walk unaided despite having 

a hideous hole in his side, was beaten til the skin was torn from 

his lacerated back, his ankles smashed with huge wooden nails. 

——–

A teacher he seemed as he led us along through the words

of our own scriptures and taught us that the Messiah would  

suffer these things and then he would succeed to his glory.

——–

As we watched the sun setting over the hills beyond our village

we listened to deep words which slowly seeped into our tired minds.

Does it matter, I thought, what we believe, he is dead and gone!

——–

Our home loomed in the gloom before us and our companion

calm, quiet and kindly walked on. But despite our weariness 

we invited in him to share in the meagre meal in our home.

——–

Our stranger sat strangely quiet as we set out the frugal fare,

We came to table and offered him the coarse bread. It was, 

as he lifted the loaf to pray, that our eyes were opened and saw

——

at our table the risen Lord, his woundedness for us a wonder,

and as we started, so he slipped from our weak dissembling sight,

and looking at the broken bread we believed the unbelievable.

——-

Energised, full dark out but we stumbled along the lanes, owls

hooted and as we neared Jerusalem a night jar sang a song 

of praise. We found Peter risen from his grief and others too.

———

We sang to a God who had dispatched death, conquered fear,

overcome the humiliation of the cross and was here with us; a

God who seeks individuals to reconcile each one to his peace.

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.”