Thursday, March 29, 2012

Stations of the Cross: a long series of poems (Station I-III)

1st Station:  Jesus condemned to death

I sweat dreams
through pillared court and temple
where a shining lamb haunts

pinned with thirty pieces of silver
and a flaming portrait of Barabbas
throwing stones at a tin empire

the marching feet of sin
condemning its golden fleece
to stripes bleeding in the goat pen

where stamped with whips
it was dressed in Roman justice
given apathy to drink

from the Via Dolorosa's cold
stone slab echoing mockery
that caresses the street like Sunday palms

2nd Station:  Jesus accepts the cross

you chose joy
embalmed on a wooden cross
                 the splinters
                                       on your heel

the devil's workshop you'll nail
to your strong right hand
princely blood
                  draining out

God's makeover grafted onto
sinners in the clearing house
of the 
               preached Word's 

circumcision driven into the stone
tablets that stood against us
              waking us 

3rd Station:  Jesus falls

Unless a shred of wheat falls
Zion lies fallow, its walls
weeping in the night
glaciers encroaching on the sanctuary
where appointed feasts are spiced with gravel
stolen from Saul's tomb.

Abraham's Seed falls like manna
the temple of his body
trampled bloody crimson for sons
and daughters of Jerusalem's mountain
stronghold who spring out of hiding
amnesiacs to the bitterness

and the gall Christ substitutes
for a royal scepter 
as centurions topple his cross
face down into a waterless pit
a patch of stripped earth
where suffocated he will rise.