September the 21st is St. Matthew’s day, so here is a sonnet for the evangelist, drawn from my forthcoming sonnet sequence Sounding the Seasons. Like my sonnets for the other three evangelists, it draws on the traditional association of each eveangelist with one of the four living creatures around the throne of God.
First of the four, saint Matthew is the Man;
A gospel that begins with generation,
Family lines entwine around the Son
Born in Judea, born for every nation
Born under Law that all the Law of Moses
Might be fulfilled and flower into Grace
As every word and deed in time discloses
Eternal love within a human face.
This is the gospel of the great reversal
A wayside weed is Solomon in glory
The smallest sparrow’s fall is universal
And Christ the heart of every human story
‘I will be with you, though you may not see
And all you do, you do it unto me’