As we walk together into the Easter season I thought I would post again two sonnets reflecting on the encounter two disciples had with the risen Jesus on the road to Emmaus. Re-reading these in light of our present crisis, I find some lines suddenly pressing forward with new clarity, new urgency, particularly in the octet of the first sonnet, which opens with longing and loss and speaks of ‘The pit of disappointment, the despair/The jolts and shudders of my letting go,/My aching for the one who isn’t there.’ I know that those are just the things that many of us are feeling right now and I hope and pray that we can let christ turn those feelings around for us just as much as he did for the disciples on the road.
These two sonnets form part of a sequence of fifty sonnets on the sayings of Jesus called Parable and Paradox. They were published by Canterbury Press in a book of that title in 2016 and are available on Amazon Here.
As always you can hear me read the poems by clicking on the title or the ‘play’ button
Luke 24:17 ‘He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast’.
And do you ask what I am speaking of
Although you know the whole tale of my heart;
Its longing and its loss, its hopeless love?
You walk beside me now and take my part
As though a stranger, one who doesn’t know
The pit of disappointment, the despair
The jolts and shudders of my letting go,
My aching for the one who isn’t there.
And yet you know my darkness from within,
My cry of dereliction is your own,
You bore the isolation of my sin
Alone, that I need never be alone.
Now you reveal the meaning of my story
That I, who burn with shame, might blaze with glory.
Luke 24:25-26 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
We thought that everything was lost and gone,
Disaster on disaster overtook us
The night we left our Jesus all alone
And we were scattered, and our faith forsook us.
But oh that foul Friday proved far worse,
For we had hoped that he had been the one,
Till crucifixion proved he was a curse,
And on the cross our hopes were all undone.
Oh foolish foolish heart why do you grieve?
Here is good news and comfort to your soul:
Open your mind to scripture and believe
He bore the curse for you to make you whole
The living God was numbered with the dead
That He might bring you Life in broken bread.