How are you these days?
You know the Lord restored my breath. But why me?
The shock still scares. I am a little miracle, entirely His,
Re-born to show His glory; irrefutable, for all to see.
Doubtless my return made the likes of you into believers.
Not Caiaphas and his ilk who, deeply furious, want my life.
I have known death. What terror can priestly anger brew?
Why, in any case, can't they believe? By the way, I heard
That friends and relatives turned up to weep and comfort.
For the love of Christ, they shouldn't even try console.
Surely we are His true children, here and in eternity.
What was it like?
The narrow walls were damp, the cold…cryptic.
I lay defused, spiced, swathed and strangely numb.
Can you recall the days of darkness?
Come on…tell us…
What do you mean days? A kind of timelessness.
Free of alphabet, tell-tale grammar, clever parchment;
Recall and weigh regrets, timidly await judgement.
Silence amplifies, turning what's simple quite profound.
What moves is thought, speaking in a long forgotten voice.
Perhaps let loose by the body's overthrow.
You, dear neighbours, know I had been semi-saved
At home; under His gaze; learnt with occasional fervour.
But never enough. I've followed His way as best I can,
Transgressed far less. The Lord visited, stayed, broke
Bread and taught, with Mary usually at His feet.
We listened…So when death came I stood almost ready….
Don't stop…go on…
What joy when He called “Lazarus, come forth…”
Being bound, I tried: “Loose him, and let him go."
He is the Resurrection and the Life. I was grateful;
Don't get me wrong. Thought it was His Second
Coming, the eternal one to which I woke in Paradise.
Instead, surprise, surprise! Martha's voice still ruled,
Fussing over chores, commenting incessantly; getting
At Mary again, over unclean dishes, un-wiped tables,
Un-stored jars of oil. Everything as usual. Almost.
We made the Lord a celebration. Martha served;
Mary anointed His feet, wiping them with her hair,
Cleansing his soles with care, loosening the dust,
Pouring that famous oil. Its perfume clutched the air
As she kept looking at her hands with sad, final eyes,
As if she touched the whole burden of the world.
He spoke almost sadly, reminding us to forgive, always;
And to love abundantly with all its power, its greatness.
How He was the way, the truth and the life. Much else has
Transpired. You've heard the bit about Peter and the cock?
And I saw Him give a sop to Judas. He must have known
And yet, and yet ...It was a great and loving sermon.
You want to feel my beard? Of course I'm real. I'll
Tweak that dropsied nose of yours...don't stand back...
Do you believe now? Not in my return, but in the Lord's?
I've got to go. A bit of the damp lingers embedded
In my bones. And the girls will soon get anxious.
Thanks to you lot I've had enough excitement for today.
Now for a corner, where I can contemplate undisturbed
The glory of His Creation in our hills, happy to salaam
Passing Bedouins, away from rude, impatient tourists...