A Lenten Journey: Poetic Reflections pt. 2

This is the second of a three-part collaborative series featuring the poetry of Gerald St. Maur and the photography of Rev. Thomas Brauer. 


Mother Mary

Chant is but the music of the mob,
unheard by those
not belonging to it,
their innocence
protected by anonymity

It was their love, and His love for them,
that brought back strength to weakened limbs.
In the now hushed crowd
Jesus rose.

But agony,
the price of our redemption,
was write upon His face
as accusations, His sole companions,
grew again in towrment.

The miracle of motherhood
that nurtured Him from birth
stepped forward
only to feel the obstructive thrust of a soldier’s arm.
But His eyes and hers
crossed the universe unimpeded
and said their silent, saintly words
amid sacrilegious cries.

Simon

Jesus stood motionless.
Was it pity, was it anger
that bit the centurion
as he sought to grasp the scene?

His eye was caught
by a curious bystander,
hulk enough to carry a horse
around his neck.
The shoulder of Simon of Cyrene
would keep the procession moving.

As though he already knew
Simon solemnly obeyed the order,
bent beneath the cross
and waited as Jesus,
one arm resting on his shoulder
began again His walk to death.

Cheated of their sport,
the growing, menacing wake
yelled their displeasure.


Veronica

Fearing the unruly mob,
the centurion called a halt
and bid Simon lower the cross
onto the raw left shoulder
of the grateful Jesus.

The hill on which He would meet death
now lay before Him,
each painstaking step
a triumph over His agony,
interminable and immeasurable.

The blood and sweat
which now masked His face
brought forth a woman,
by her name called veronica,
who ignored the scowl of the guard,
removed her veil,
and gently pressed it
on His brown, His cheeks
and against those silent lips which spoke though His eyes
as she removed
the now treasured mask.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Second Fall

How much His visage,
freshened by tender love,
could mask the torment within
is but another miracle.

His climb was now a battle
between the ascent of the eternal truth
of almighty God
and the descent of man,
defiant and stupid.

It was a conflict
staggering between light and shadow,
fought with every deliberate step
up a hillside littered with rocks
kicked into His path
by the provocative mob.

His soul could not be wearied
but His mortal body
misjudged His footing
and amid the cheers of the hangers-on
He fell headlong
beneath the crush of the cross.


The Women

Undefeated,
Jesus rose again very slowly
and heaved the unforgiving cross onto His shoulder.
Perched thus,
the beam swayed perilously
as He prepared His next step.

But the expectant crowd suddenly fell back, uncertain,
as the women of Jerusalem
pushed through their ranks
to form a circle around the cross.

Silently they stood
in profound adoration,
their hands resting on the shoulders
of their awestruck children.
No words could articulate their thoughts.
But Jesus knew them.

“Weep not for me”, He said,
“but for yourselves and your children”,
and the women wept for all
who know not love and compassion.

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