The Sower (Shakespearean Sonnet)

The Sower (Shakespearean Sonnet)

The Sower gathered his bag, went to sow––
his furrows dug long and straight in the dirt;
countless burial mounds without a stone,
bodies tenderly laid to rest in earth.
In the darkness of each tomb, death unseen
reigns, his grievous, painful scepter holds sway
until the dust returns to its own, keen
for the glorious freedom of the Day.
Up from the decaying, dusting husk shoots
an arm, desperate for air and for sun––
defying the dark lord, declaring, “Soon!
Your fearful tyranny at last be done!”
So many planted seeds to die in me,
but day by day I’m becoming more green.

5-14-2020

What is a Shakespearean sonnet?

When I Survey the Empty Tomb

When I Survey the Empty Tomb

When I survey the empty tomb
in which my Savior’s body lay,
a ray of hope shines through the gloom,
and I rejoice to hear Him say:

“Put forth your hand and feel My side,
and put your finger through the scars.
I am your Lord, your God, your Guide;
I have passed through the deadly dark.

“The death I died, you died with Me
that sin no longer has a claim.
And now I live, you must not fear.
Abide in Me; I will remain.

“I give My Spirit to you all;
I will be with you to the end.
When I return with trumpet call,
I’ll take you to Myself again.”

4-14-2020

The Ones Who Wait To See (Empat Empat)

The Ones Who Wait To See (Empat Empat)

The ones who wait to see aren’t blind,
their torch can only reach so far:
the next few paces ahead find
rocks, roots, and holes to stumble o’er.

Many insist on seeing now;
the ones who wait aren’t blind.
The ones who put their hands to plow
dare not to even glance behind.

The eyes of their hearts are inclined
to strive and strain to pierce the dark.
The ones who wait to see aren’t blind;
they fear only to miss the mark.

They do not yet have blood-tipped hands
whose fingertips the Scars outline;
they shall see when they reach the land.
The ones who wait to see aren’t blind.

4-12-2020

What is an empat empat?

April 2020 Poem-a-Day Challenge #10

20 (Rime Couee)

Nor bolted doors nor drowning eyes
Can dam the sun’s rays when they rise.
O Mary, hear your name!
Let go for now; one day you will
Sit and feast with Me to your fill,
For you, too, will be changed:

Incorruptible, just like Me,
Unhindered by sin’s foul deeds;
You’ll be made new, made whole.
Go tell our brothers, yours and Mine:
The light of this First Day shines
On you, so tell them. Go!

Run, John, run, but when you arrive,
Wait––Peter’s holding his sides,
Slower, gasping for breath.
Look in and see, all is empty:
The tomb, the clothes; the air is free
Of the rank stench of death.

The world has changed; it marches on
To its appointed end and song.
Like Mary, hear your name.
Like Peter and John, look inside
And see the grave clothes laid aside
And never be the same.

9-10-2019

What is a Rime Couee?

With My Own Eyes (Shakespearean Sonnet)

Tis not the thing, but after, gives me pause,
A shudder running through me, down my spine,
What will incorporeal eyes, be-awed,
Behold when, at last, I pass beyond time?
It forces upon my shoulders a freight,
A momentary fear: is it all real?
For then there is no room for such debate,
But now finality to face and feel.
For others have gone, beholden that land,
And seen and felt finality’s caress,
By Love they, loved, now wait and hold that hand
That led them, fearing, all the way to Rest.
Be-steel my spine, be-flesh my heart, so I
May neither blink nor cringe but joy to rise.

2-6-2019

Thomas

Thomas, did you jump when finger touched bone?
Did you wipe off your hands on your tunic?
Did you notice how His eyes shone
With loving laughter as you struggled to speak?

Oh, but Thomas, when words finally came
No levee could begin to hold back the flood:
“My Lord and my God!” you (too) loudly exclaimed,
Hugging your Lord, your friend, down from the rood.

1-9-2019

You Were Always More Than

You were always more than stone,
But long since anyone recognized
Anything else.

By all appearances, you were useful,
Needed, if not often thought about
By anyone else.

Days passed, one like to another,
Nothing changing you, nor you
Anyone else.

Until that Day, when your mere stone
Became something greater, higher,
And darker.

The normal, familiar emptiness gave way
To abnormal, unfamiliar fullness––
Anxious and uncertain.

Just when it became unbearable,
And the prospect of this becoming
The new normal––

Sweet, reassuring emptiness returned.
But this emptiness was not like before––
Different, but better.

But it was not actually empty, either:
A robe, a napkin, and two caretakers
Remained within.

10-18-2018

Prompt

Death, When It Met Him

Athanasius, answering the question why Jesus, having become incarnate, had to die a public death like crucifixion (instead of just dying and being raised privately):

For as it was not fitting for the Word of God, being the life, to inflict death himself on his own body, so neither was it suitable to fly from death offered by others, but rather to follow it up unto destruction, for which reason he naturall41pyhgxginly neither laid aside his body of his own accord, nor, again, fled from the Jews when they took counsel against him. But this did not show weakness on the Word’s part, but, on the contrary, showed him to be the Saviour and Life; in that he both awaited death to destroy it and hasted to accomplish the death offered him for the salvation of all. And besides, the Saviour came to accomplish not his own death, but the death of men; when he did not lay aside his body by a death of his own—for he was life and had none—but received that death which came from men, in order perfectly to do away with this when it met him in his own body.

Now, death must precede resurrection, as it would be no resurrection did not death precede; so that if the death of his body had taken place anywhere in secret, the death not being apparent nor taking place before witnesses, his resurrection too had been hidden and without evidence. Or why, while when he had risen he proclaimed the resurrection, should he cause his death to take place in secret? or why, while he drove out evil spirits in the presence of all, and made the man blind from his birth recover his sight, and changed the water into wine, that by these means he might be believed to be the Word of God, should he not manifest his mortal nature as incorruptible in the presence of all, that he might be believed himself to be the Life?

— Athanasius, On the Incarnation, para 22.