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. I am posting the new poem here in case anyone finds it useful. 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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7 Comments

Filed under christianity, Poems

7 responses to “This Breathless Earth: a recent sonnet

  1. Dearest Malcolm, we were driving last evening along the rural road we now live on, and I was thinking all the while that there was a poem in the mingled scent of just-cut grass and wildflowers and new crops growing and mist and breeze. A breath of heaven indeed! Thank you, as always, for sharing.

  2. Carolyn Curtis

    This one is exceptional, Malcolm…!

  3. There. I shivered. I just read this poem to my sister and we both loved it. This is how Jesus meets us..in the deep secret places we didn’t think he could enter…he comes, and he gives us life.

  4. Susan Ashmore

    I follow your words carefully and find both solace and inspiration in them.
    Thank you.

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