A Lenten Journey: Poetic Reflections pt. 3

'Fear of the Broken Heart'

The Third Fall

But crowds grow impatient with pause,
their power lost
in the irritant of reflection.
A clenched fist thrust in His face
was all it took
for Jesus to smile back
and resume his climb.

His feet now bleeding,
His ankles bruised, each step
became more precarious than the last.
Tottering thus,
His mind still balanced
God’s need of man with man’s need of God.

It sustained Him:
for ten yards, twenty yards and on
as His uncertain feet took Him
wobbling from side to side
until He suddenly collapsed and lay still,
unable to move.

The crowd milled around,
displeased that He had finally failed
to complete His journey.

Thomas Brauer, Photography, Lent
‘Third Fall’


Dragged to His feet by the guard,
Jesus could barely walk,
limping the last few steps
to the top of the hill.

But even as He stood there patiently,
a soldier mocked Him
by removing his crown of thorns,
casting it to the ground,
while others stripped off His garments,
marked through they were
by blood, sweat and dirt.

Laughing among themselves
that He wouldn’t need it any more
the soldiers took His tunic,
His last possession,
and cast lots for it.

The exposure of His naked body,
the final indignity,
brought forth catcalls
and derisive cries
that justice has been served.

'Burnt Bush'
‘Burnt Bush’


On top of the dust,
from which since Adam
all have sprung,
the cross lay waiting.

And Jesus laid his broken body there
stretched over hewn timber
which once had received sunlight
and freshened the air around us.

From outstretched arms,
the open palms
received the piercing nails
driven, blow by counted blow
through willing flesh and wood.
And the merciless penetration of iron pegs
anchored His bloodied feet.

The crowd applauded
as the cross was raised
and planted for all
who did not turn their eyes away.

'Since Adam...'
‘Since Adam…’

Last Words

Not many can witness torture
without compassion or remorse.
And fewer still, if any there be,
could endure such agony
while praying for the souls
of their torturers.

“Father, forgive them.
They know not what they do”.

And who among us
could promise paradise to a penitent victim?

Jesus looked down
at the gathering of silent women
and commended His blessed mother
to the guardianship of disciple John.
Head bowed,
He proclaimed His last:
“Father, into your hands
I commend my spirit”.

His body hung motionless,
And the sun set.

Water and Blood
Water and Blood




























It was the beginning and the end of time
for Mary waiting at the foot of the cross.
And for the women of Jerusalem
it was both dusk and dawn.

Divine authority, bent in the grip
of priests and scribes,
and trodden down
by the menacing mob,
rose once more with the sun.

And a man from Arimathea,
Joseph who knew God,
took down the cross,
gently pulled away the cruel nails
and laid her son
across the lap of Mary.

It was but love
enabled Him to be, and she
sat weeping there and knew
she had delivered in the flesh
the divine truth for all to see.

'Fear of the Broken Heart'



To Gaia’s womb
His body was returned,
at one with the people of His race
but yet His place
is centred beyond this universe
to where clocks
are but the curious measure of man
and journeys,
though they stretch from galaxy to galaxy,
have neither beginning nor end.

Inside the hollowed rock no body was ever placed to rest
with such devotion:
the fragrant linen
folded lovingly
with reverence for life,
kisses sealed forever
by a large stone
heaved into the tomb’s mouth.

'To Gaia's Womb'
‘To Gaia’s Womb’


  • Thomas is an Anglican Priest and a vocational photographer. He is currently living out these vocations serving the Scottish Episcopal Church in the towns of Leven, Glenrothes, and Lochgelly, within the Diocese of St. Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane. Under the supervision of David Brown, Thomas is also exploring questions of how photography might be positively created, used and experienced in religious contexts as a doctoral student at St. Andrews.

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