Stations VIII and IX

VIII Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

He falls and stumbles with us, hurt again

But still he holds the road and looks in love

On all of us who look on him. Our pain

As close to him as his. These women move

Compassion in him as he does in them.

He asks us both to weep and not to weep.

Women of Gaza and Jerusalem,

Women of every nation where the deep

Wounds of memory divide the land

And lives of all your children, where the mines

Of all our wars are sown: Afghanistan ,

Iraq, the Cote d’Ivoire…  he reads the signs

And weeps with you and with you he will stay

Until the day he wipes your tears away.

IX Jesus falls the third time

He weeps with you and with you he will stay

When all your staying power has run out

You can’t go on, you go on anyway.

He stumbles just beside you when the doubt

That always haunts you, cuts you down at last

And takes away the hope that drove you on.

This is the third fall and it hurts the worst

This long descent through darkness to depression

From which there seems no rising and no will

To rise, or breathe or bear your own heart beat.

Twice you survived; this third will surely kill,

And you could almost wish for that defeat

Except that in the cold hell where you freeze

You find your God beside you on his knees.


Filed under christianity, imagination, Meditation, Poems

7 responses to “Stations VIII and IX

  1. Pingback: Sonnets for Holy Week – Maggi Dawn

  2. So wonderful, thank you!
    I’m sorry not tho have discovered them earlier but I’ve now linked to them on my blog.


    i have always had a soft spot for sonnets and use the linking of verse often in my writing. The content of your work is full of clarity and most moving. I am glad that you put this on your ‘blog’.

    • malcolmguite

      Thank you Barbara, those linking verses are always a stimulus to the writing as well as the reading. Have you seen John Donne’s ssonnet sequence the ‘corona’? It has very elaborate linking

  4. Malcolm, these sonnets are really wonderful. Thank you for sharing them. They deserve to be widely known.

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