This Breathless Earth: a recent sonnet

The reading set in many churches for this first Sunday of Easter is the account in John 20:19, of how Jesus appeared to the disciples in the upper room where they were cowering behind locked doors, and how he brought them peace, and breathed on them, saying ‘receive the Holy Spirit’ and sent them out, renewed into the world. Meditating on that scene I have made a new sonnet, voiced for one of the disciples in that room, but written also from our present context where we are all fearful and so many of us are struggling even to draw breath. I am posting the new poem here in case anyone finds it useful, either for a virtual church service on Sunday, or for reflection during the week. Please feel free to reproduce this poem but if you can include a link to this blog that would be great.

As always you can hear me read the poem by clicking on the title or the ‘Play’ button.

This Breathless Earth

We bolted every door but even so

We couldn’t catch our breath for very fear:

Fear of their knocking at the gate below,

Fear that they’d find and kill us even here.

Though Mary’s tale had quickened all our hearts

Each fleeting hope just deepens your despair:

The panic grips again, the gasping starts,

The drowning, and the coming up for air.

Then suddenly, a different atmosphere,

A clarity of light, a strange release,

And, all unlooked for, Christ himself was there

Love in his eyes and on his lips, our peace.

So now we breathe again, sent forth, forgiven,

To bring this breathless earth a breath of heaven.

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5 Comments

Filed under christianity, Poems

5 responses to “This Breathless Earth: a recent sonnet

  1. David C Brown

    That finely brings the scene in the bible to life, while making us feel how much it still applies. We sang this morning – before reading this post! –
    O Lord, as now we gather to Thy Name
    Here in the scene of Thy reproach and shame,
    Our minds are filled with precious thoughts of Thee,
    And of Thy word, This do, remember me.

  2. Carolyn Curtis

    Malcolm, I LOVE this one!!! So appropriate for today’s problems… and yet timeless!

    Carolyn

    Carolyn Curtis
    Author | Speaker
    http://www.carolyncurtis.net
    carolyn@carolyncurtis.net
    817.991.7602 mobile

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