And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.
No good unless used for you:
only death, only a swallowing tomb.
No sweet grapes from a rotten vine;
no figs budding from a cursed tree.
When speaking, we curse; when silent, bones waste…
Until the words, He is risen. Why seek the living among these yawning tombs?
Run. Tell the mourners.
Doubt has died.
This tongue has life to speak.
What does Christ’s resurrection mean for us? Christ triumphed over sin and death by being physically resurrected, so that all who trust in him are raised to new life in this world and to everlasting life in the world to come. Just as we will one day be resurrected, so this world will one day be restored. But those who do not trust in Christ will be raised to everlasting death. (New City Catechism)
And so, like the first fruits, He shows us what will be,
like the early fig I saw when winter had ravaged the tree:
hopeful, I return every day, expectant of the taste. So it is for the spirit.
Sometimes its workings are invisible
yet it is firm, this life which grabs you, arrests you.
Step out and see. Today is not like that first garden.
That day we clutched onto life that was not ours
This will not end. Though it linger, wait.
First you ate the fruit of death; now life’s fruit is on the tree.
You sow each day; tomorrow, reap
what life or death may bring.
Written Easter Sunday in Pyengana, Tasmania Dedicated to the people of Break O’Day Parish, St Helens
Drink from the brook. The day sparkles the hills in their joy.
Look to the mountains: there comes your help.
Springing forth from caves with rolled-away stones
breaks the day, breaks the day.
Singing in haze, this resurrection joy
breaks away the old death;
drink the life.
Who knows by what mysterious means the body moves to its ends?
(David Malouf, An Imaginary Life)
Half right, Ovid: we metamorphose, yet
Not so wildly. There are leaps which we may
Never take, gates which bar the backwards way.
Infinitesimal, our movements, but breath
Charges with possibility each step.
We perish like beasts, to the same dust as they;
Yet chasms stand between us. We contain
More than flesh, though spirit’s shackled by debt.
Is this our freedom: that in dying we fly?
Or that we throw off the deadweight of skins?
Such thoughts become not poetry, Ovid.
Look to the kernel, dying in a field;
The body will know healing from these sins,
Glorious, in the twinkling of an eye.
Well, as Easter week draws to a close so does my series of Lenten and Easter reflections. But Easter season continues for some weeks now, and my prayer is that we can all use this season to remind ourselves of what is a daily truth: that God’s people are a resurrection people.
Here, to bring the project to a close, is the whole sequence of poems, collated as “Remember our dust: Poems for Lent and Easter Week”, with the final poem – today’s poem – included at the end. I hope and pray that it can be a blessing to all of you as you read it.