Ichorian Slumber

Slowly moon-rise wakes the stars,
Throwing webs of dew across
A field, a cloud, a tired mind,
Creeping along like waking moss.

Clouds burn red behind the sun,
Black clouds, like embers smouldering,
Smoking and fading into the sky,
A fire of heaven consumed but not burning.

The sky was open, stars and clouds,
The failing sun, the misty shrouds,
And mortal minds were twined within,
Falling between ancient images.

The noise of the tomb deafened the world,
And through the stars like thought was hurled,
A ray, cold beam, last fleeting gasp,
Of this day’s light, like a finger groping,
At a mind’s resting, or warm wind breathing,
Heart pulsing slowly, beating out grieving . . .

Every day ends in such hallowed prose,
Heaven soft-shaded with blood from a rose.

Holy Saturday: The Wait

What does a tomb sound like, in the peaceful deadly evening,
While a burial ends quickly before the close of day?
It sounds like heavy footsteps fading away,
Mingled with sobbing of a childless mother.
The tears being sucked dry by the thirsty ground,
And echos of the same through rock rebound.
It sounds like the flutters of a final heartbeat,
A centurion’s armour as he leans on a lance,
Spirits writhing and the thoughts of angels waiting,
And the clouds and stars in a deathly dance.

What does a tomb smell like, as the light fades to dusk,
And stars glow brighter in spite of the sorrow?
Like blood – so much blood – and ancient rites,
Of new-turned soil and hard-bought sweat,
Of heated metal, death and thunder,
Battles and slaughter, loot and plunder,
Hard-won victory in spiritual fights,
The bone and the blood together abiding,
Pulled back to the soil, under darkness hiding,
And tremours of hope and new unknown life.

What does a tomb taste like, with the full moon rising,
When the sun has vanished and the soldiers are sleeping?
Like the smoke from Hell’s contract enkindled by Love,
And the soft breath of wind rising, pulling and creeping,
It tastes like the fear of the body, soul leaving,
The tear-drops of each of the countless dead grieving.

What does a tomb feel like, in the cold and voiceless night?
Like anticipation, and pulse quickening,
Soldiers sleeping, blood thickening.
Mossy rocks and frozen bone,
Of unhurried flight where thorns ingrown,
There trap the dew and freeze in frost,
The crown there, black with gore and fright.

What does a tomb look like, in the hushed silence,
Moments before another day?
A place of holy dread and dwelling,
Mound of ennobled dust and rocks,
With deep red stains embalming chains,
Where Life and death have come together,
Awaiting tomorrow to be sundered again,
And like the stable, the door for new Hope
From whence Love is to rise forever.

The White Rose

One silent evening, towards Summer’s close,
I walked alone through darkening fields,
Saw by chance, hidden by trees
A group of bushes, gnarled and thorned,
But looking closer, was pleased to see,
On each thorned branch rested a rose.

Several rose-trees together growing,
One flowering blood-red, another gold,
But the one upon which I rested my sight:
The rose of shimmering, pure white.
Reflecting in it’s simple hue,
All colours bound and intertwined,
Symbolic of every virtue:
A rose of white, for purity,
For courage and eternal love,
Reverence and humility.

I heard as though it spoke to me,
And knew then, what I ought to be.
I shed a tear for my past sins,
Asked our Lord from me to take,
The thorns ’round my soul,
Their roots to break.

Long stood I there in fading light,
Pondering over this simple flower.
A gift from God, precious and sweet,
Growing from the ground at my feet.
Breaking rock, barren and dry,
Reaching out to sun and sky,
Growing, climbing towards God’s throne,
Doing that which His men will not,
Living always, Heaven to own,
While His great love, we all forgot.

It still is wonderous to me,
That man to make a choice is free;
That we alone, of all God’s creatures,
Have ever sinned and shunned His love;
That I see proof of Virtue’s power,
By looking at this little flower.