(unrevised poem written in 2009)
It was the same date as today,
Ash Wednesday of that year,
An opaque sky heralded
the bleak disciplines of Lent.
Cremated palm leaves made soot
as fine as stoneground cornsilk,
Echoes of long-past hosannas
Fading in the deadened air.
Metanoia, said the purpled priest,
Examine the inward heart,
Don't stint a loving God who pours
out on his children all he has.
Cherish not what must be left
behind. Toss in the season's pyre
security and vanity,
And mercy will rain down.
Was forteiture of wine enough?
The giving of hard-earned alms?
Precious time bestowed upon the
Forlorn and sick and exiled?
A rigorous schedule of
study, abstinence from all
forms of twentieth century
gluttony? And hymns of praise?
No! None of that would answer,
A different sacrifice was due:
My best-beloved of seven years -
bound in deep-forged chains I dare
not break - must be relinquished.
Would God stoop low to pity me
as he had for Abraham,
wanting no filial holocaust?
He did not spare the harrowing,
but gave me Grace to acquiesce
and view a bigger picture.
Three pillars are unstable,
Buckling in turn, begging a fourth.
Three demands death, two is viable.
That Good Friday, my birthday,
Swallowed my thenself in its grave.
All's history today. And what
should I conclude? Some kernel of
evergreen truth was broadcast there
without a context of its own?
Wrong time! Wrong place! Wrong life! Wrong..!
It's gone! ...but lives translated
to an apotheosis of good intention,
ploughed back to fertile land.
Causes Rosy Cole Supports
World Vision, International Prison Outreach, Salvation Army, Emmaus Project, Poor Clares, DogsTrust, BUAV (against animal testing) WWT (Wildfowl &...