No need to touch the scars;
Caravaggio got that detail wrong.
The sheer force of His presence made Thomas crumple,
doubt ceasing where belief gained life,
the parched taste, hesitant like salt, exultant like wine,
as loosened lips croaked, My Lord and my God.
Yet I am comforted to see
both the outstretched hand and
the companions’ fingers lifting his.
I cannot tell if, like Thomas,
I could simply stop doubting and believe at such a sight,
but, held up by the weathered,
briny hands of those who’ve seen with me,
I, like him, can lift a wrinkled brow in faith.
where, on the shore, He had already assembled, as a table, prepared for expected guests, a charcoal fire, some fish laid out, and, being himself the bread, a loaf laid for good measure.
No need, of course, for the fish they brought. No need, either, for that excess in their boats. To feed seven mouths plus His, that net-bursting horn of plenty was, as old Judas, wilting, would have had them know, not quite au fait.
Yet fitting – that He who made Leviathan solely to frolic should choose to play with the resources of Galilee to make much of these staples, to invite, to delight, and in the olive branch of this table set in the presence of friends and enemies
to ask, as the mercy-cup overflowed in the background, Simon, do you love me?
Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?”
Some followed to the cross, some to their tombs,
some were stoned, some were flayed,
some beheld the lions’ roar…
And others followed into cells
with ageing eyes in the dying light.
Some grew old to the ring of words
more bounteous than all the world.
Some saw, some hoped
but never saw.
All were held, transformed by Life –
what was, what is, what ever is,
is still to be, what waits.
The day remains, and we remain,
yet nothing is the same.
Like Peter, I am thrown.
The new commandment is old – older than water –
but never does it feel
old when it knocks where the heart’s most calloused,
with desert-worn feet, soles encased
in grime and travail.
Water washes, but the command penetrates.
And the action – the knees bent, the teacher’s degradation –
gives flesh to the mandate’s pointed bone,
flesh that will be pierced. May I be pierced.
I need more than water;
I need chisel to my stone.
Eternity enters the human timeframe.
Before movement had matter, He was:
No beginning or conclusion; the same
Yesterday, today, before all days.
Even the hands of clocks he moves, sustains;
And now He enters: the watchmaker within
The mechanism; the infinite contained.
Time baffles at the sight; where do we begin
To grasp what does not begin? Yet He brings
Himself to us, to see, be seen. In one
Instant, this entropic way of things
Is opened by the entrance of the Son.
And now, contained inside a human womb,
The endless one irradiates Time’s tomb…