The Sword of the Seven Sorrows

Swords of Mary

Prologue
Across this earth, our feet peregrinate,
From shrine to shrine, to quench earth’s thirst with wine,
Our search, the unfallen pomegranate.
I will foretell the future in the past;
In love or hate, we will create our fate;
In love or hate, our lives will ever last.

Invocation of the Muse
Come, Holy Spirit, my heart to fulfill,
Lead me to the fullness of Your Truth,
Whom this fallen world has sought to kill.

You, Who are the beauty of my youth,
You kiss me with the kisses of the mouth
To turn to honey the dew of my ruth.

Your blessed breeze blows east, west, north, and south;
Yours is the voice that beckons me to bed,
To hide me from demons and dreams uncouth.

Yours is the hand by which my body’s fed;
Yours are the eyes that see my life entire;
You anoint every hair upon my head.

You, Who preserve me from eternal fire,
This day caress the lyre of my desire!

The Prophecy of Simeon

I.
Simeon
From the desert of my infancy,
I pined for the oasis of Your Face,
My absence from earth’s thoughts deemed truancy,

My choice the chaste embrace of enfleshed grace,
For in this life, flesh withers with the grass,
As long as the sun to the moon gives chase.

Alas! I lost too soon eternity in time,
Yet in my life beheld the Holy Mass,
To embrace the sun and moon at once!

The consummation of rhythm with rhyme,
The fusion of the signified and sign,
The sentence that to this world is the crime,

In that moment when our arms entwined,
And Your gentle breathing joined with mine.

II.
Mary
The days before my sacred pregnancy,
I prayed before the Lord for Him to come,
The world longing in silent latency

For Him before Whom sagest lips are dumb,
So when I found Him pressed against my breast,
Nothing in my senses could be numb.

The Savior of humanity to rest
Upon me was a grace I had not guessed,
Blest that my utterance was His behest!

The naked God with my own hands I dressed,
He with Whom I shared my very flesh!
His little limbs I lovingly caressed.

I am the world’s first and purest crèche,
The bastion of each poor and helpless wretch.

III.
Mary

Joseph, my most chaste spouse, chaperoned me,
Through the troublous hoards of humanity,
And wept his tears into the bitter sea,

Mary, me, maiden of serenity,
Though I did not know I was from sin free,
The one renewing root upon life’s tree.

Every single sin in history
With eyes aflame with star-sweet tears I see,
For he who hurts my Son also hurts me.

Our tears spring forth as waters of mercy,
The living draught of all eternity,
Preciousness minus caprice of Circe.

Our Holy Family’s affinity
Comes from Our Son’s infant infinity.

IV.
Joseph
My Mary is a mystery who must
Most embody God, other than God,
For hers is beauty which destroys all lust:

A face of peace she shares with each sweet nod,
A voice of calm amidst the darkest storm,
A poise of grace from the Lord’s flowering rod.

I seek to keep her from the harshest harm:
The mercenary’s curse of her mercy,
Within the Infant Whom her womb kept warm.

With every step her suffering I see,
Yet He, Whose lips suck sweetness from her breast,
Gives sweetness infinite to her and me,

And thus, the more the miles, better the rest,
Drained yet sustained by Jesus’ blest behest.

V.
Anna the Prophetess

Maternity lasts for eternity,
For you are mother of all our wisdom,
Supporting us in our infirmity.

I recognized you when I first did see
You by your gentle, stately grace of gait,
By your sweet face of grace that smiled towards me,

A lady who thought that she lived too late
To see what she did always prophesy,
The girl in whom the Word came, Incarnate.

You are receptive to the weakest plea
From one who longs to partake of the Truth.
Your eyes are the sea of serenity,

Which, with one glance, renew my long-lost youth,
Changing my death into my birth, forsooth.

VI.
Michael
Anna and Simeon, with eyes of wine
Of ancient taste, entrust the best to last,
From the Davidic line, the divine vine,

Receiving Jesus, Mary, Joseph fast
Beneath the marble temple columns’ shade,
The Family of the future and the past,

Whose faces from their souls will never fade.
His soft, pure, warm, and fragile frame
Rests against the breasts of those who wade

In the pure regard for His Passion’s shame,
To sip His Blood, as He sipped Mary’s milk.
At birth and death, holding Him healed the lame

Of mind, body, and soul, His skin like silk,
To be torn apart by our fallen ilk.

VII.
Michael
Eight days later, He was circumcised,
For salvation’s more than generation,
And by His own He would be ostracized,

Light of revelation to the nation.
Thus, the Holy Ghost consoles the devout,
So that before death they see salvation.

He is the Sign the world would try to rout,
He is the Child, Who was set for the fall.
Through Mary, thoughts from many are brought out,

For she responded, “Yes,” unto His call,
And through her womb He His own self has wrought,
To make swaddling cloth out of the pall.

This sword shall pierce her heart, which ponders aught, In order to reveal every thought.

The Flight Into Egypt

I.
Herod
I lounged in shrouds of voluptuous delight,
Feasting on flesh of beast and wench alike,
My appetites in luscious candlelight.

I danced and sang and frolicked all the night
In fevers of hot lust and gluttony,
Abhorring everything that is right,

Adrift in still seas of satiety.
I reveled in the power of a king,
While abdicating my sobriety.

At my bidding, silence began to sing,
Until I tired of hearing the song;
When I had tired of most everything,

I wondered why the Lord made life so long,
And why He wrote the rules of right and wrong.

II.
Herod
So when Three Kings came to me from the East,
And asked me where to find an Infant King,
All song, dance, and feasting suddenly ceased;

I decreed the end of everything
And steamed with wordless fury as they spoke,
As my mascaraed eyes began to sting.

Since the Sun of Justice had arose,
I cast a curse across the crusted coast,
And ordered murder of my infant foes.

Blood became my court’s sole, sullen boast,
For toddler boys were slain in mothers’ arms,
All because I did not care to host

The One Who came to free men from all harms,
For I am Herod, dead by my own charms.

III.
Mary
Together we traversed the East’s vast wastes,
Beneath cold clouds, over the siltless soil,
Where the air spirited the dust’s tastes,

Yet my Son’s saliva was holy oil,
Whose moistness anoints my breast, tremulous
For fear that all we meet would not be loyal.

Such was the bitterness of my distress,
Only my tears could warm His wind-chilled Face,
Which my shivering fingers would caress,

As Joseph drove the humble donkey’s pace,
Through misty valley’s hewn in purple cliffs,
Over the dunes through which Herod gave chase.

Weeping for innocents Herod sifted,
My Babe to my face His soft arms lifted.

IV.
Mary
I seemed to hear the echoes of their cries,
Resounding in the rocky valley’s sides,
Sweet infant martyrs to this world’s lies.

In the land of dunes, my Child God hides,
Amidst sweet dreams of streams and pyramids,
Where babes in baskets a mother confides.

I wept upon sweet Jesus’ weeping lids,
To think their shadows should sadden His dreams,
Distressed by phantoms of the pharaoh’s kids,

So Joseph and I sang as softest streams
To calm him as we ambled past the dust
To enter into Egypt, where earth teems

With life, despite the ancient Sphinx’s lust,
Our Son, not Osiris, judge of the just.

V.
Joseph
I strained to hear her whisper in the wind,
For only Mary’s voice could quell my soul,
The Mother of God against whom man sinned.

King Herod our Son’s life sought to control,
So we fled from His insane tyranny,
For Herod the Three Kings tried to cajole.

We had no recourse to an attorney
To free us from the exile of our plight;
From our Accuser, we had to journey,

So with our feet, did our swift souls take flight.
A donkey ferried Mary over dunes,
Until the River Nile crept into sight,

As Jesus cast demons from ancient runes,
Stirring rooms asleep for many moons.

VI.
Joseph
The Temple Walls began to shudder when
His Sacred Infancy arrived in swaddling clothes.
Mummies arose from sarcophagi then,

As He uttered in slumber infant oaths,
Promising salvation to the slaves,
The liberation that the Pharaoh loathes.

The evil spirits howled out of graves,
And hieroglyphics hindered, to and fro,
Away from the Holy Baby Who saves;

Near Him, earth’s bowels’ powers were brought low,
Before the Sun who from the East does grow.

VII.
God the Father
In sleep, behold the angel of the Lord;
Arise, and take the mother and her child,
And fly to Egypt, far from Herod’s sword;

From Egypt, I will call my son so mild.
A voice in Rama’s heard of great mourning,
As we abide society so wild,

Until the angel comes before morning,
And says that they are dead that sought His life,
While heeding yet one other grave warning:

To go to Galilee to leave off strife,
Where Rachel wails for children yet unseen –
Her blessed babes now slain beneath the knife,

For the King of the Seen and the Unseen,
Whom all the world shall call the Nazarene.

Losing Jesus in the Temple

I.
The Doctors of the Law
We sat around His supple, sacred feet,
In boyish wonderment before the Boy
Who seemed to have suckled at Wisdom’s Seat,

For all His answers to our questions coy.
The marble columns glinted in His eyes
That looked with kindness towards our every ploy.

He caught us in our subtle web of lies
And uttered mysteries the most profound,
For He knows him who lives and him who dies.

With doctrines that unfailingly were sound
And in His such soft speech’s gentle wake
Gasps and sighs came from the crowd around.

Did He expatiate for Joseph’s sake?
For at His words, we could no answer make.

II.
The Doctors of the Law
He taught us secrets of anatomy,
The flow of fire through the flesh and blood.
Such was the depth of his academy,

He described the Earth before the Flood,
With godly knowledge of astronomy,
Saying there is stardust in the mud.

Such was His sublime autonomy,
That He was neither phased by praise nor blame.
For Him, the world held no monotony,

For nothing in the world is made the same.
He enlightened us on every law,
Without showing any desire for fame.

The most modest young man I ever saw,
His modesty showed He was without flaw.

III.
Joseph
We took Him to the Temple for the tax,
To be included in the state census
That in our duties we may not be lax,

As loyal as an amanuensis.
We navigated past the doves and lambs,
Paying by the miliarensis,

After we passed the sacrifice of rams,
We lost sight of Him, Our only Son!
Past trams, we thought we saw Him in the prams,

But we were left alone amongst the crowd.
Mary did not see where He had gone.
He disappeared amongst the meek and proud.

For His soft eyes, I desperately long,
Searching for Him in the desperate throng.

IV.
Joseph
I hurried Mary through the Temple halls,
And made our inquiries to Pharisees,
Thinking we heard His voice in our footfalls.

Though I should have the tongue of Pericles,
No one would heed this lowly carpenter,
In his own obstacle of Heracles.

Each dove that cooed became a harbinger,
As we prayed, waited, wailed with the walls,
Amidst the incense and silver zither,

That drowned the utmost effort of our calls
Through the streets for three days and three nights
Upon a sea of bobbing cloaks and shawls.

At once, at last, His Face did grace our sights,
As ships reach shoals that show their shores by lights!

V.
Mary
Like liquid diamonds, tears streaked down my cheeks
As my heart beat faster than my feet.
Although I knew she finds who firstly seeks,

I felt that I was chaff instead of wheat.
I was lost without my Child Lord,
Imagining Him in the shimmering heat.

Is this what Simeon meant about a sword?
In His absence, I felt an emptiness,
Left bereft of all except His Word,

Longing for the peace in His caress.
I did not know that I had never sinned,
And feared in losing Him He loved me less!

Thus, feeling that my love He did rescind,
I felt that into Hell I did descend.

VI.
Mary
No one knows the heaviness of heart
That threatened to contract my quaking chest,
While everything around me made me start,

And thoughts that I was cursed to be so blessed
Assailed my mind and sight in quiet torment:
These fears to holy Joseph I confessed.

I wondered, “What had the holy lore meant?
Have I forsaken Him? He me forsook?
I will go wherever Jesus went.”

Then, when I lifted my fair eyes to look,
I saw Him see me from behind a book!

VII.
Saint Michael
Sitting at the doctors’ colonnade,
He astonished them by His questioning,
While amidst kith and kin, His parents prayed.

Upon His sight, Mary finally asked,
“Son, why have You done like this unto us?
Behold, Father and I’ve been sorrowing.”

He said, “How is it that you sought me thus?
Did you not know that I must be about
My Father’s business, for that’s only just?”

He knew that Him they could not figure out,
Yet went with them down unto Nazareth,
Where He did not their edicts ever flout.

His Mother kept His Word upon her breath,
For His Name would become a shibboleth.

Meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross

I.
Caiaphas
How soon have palm fronds turned into scourges,
When we who hailed Him assailed Him,
Making Him the prey to our urges!

Where was the aid of holy seraphim
When purple bruises matched the purple robes
Of the “King of the Jews’ Jerusalem.”

The Crown of Thorns around His cut earlobes
Added injury to our insults.
Our spit mixed with His tears, spilling in globes

Of blood and sweat, like lightning bolts
That struck to love those who did not inflict
His pains, as did our Temple cults.

I am Caiaphas, who makes the interdict,
Declaring that “Christ’s” claim is derelict.

II.
Pontius Pilate

“Do You declare to be the Son of God?”
I asked, and He said, “You say that I am.”
Elsewise, He did not even give a nod.

Though He seemed wholly innocent to me,
The citizens seemed to think differently,
And when I asked if they would set Him free,

To Barabbas they granted amnesty.
I washed my hands of Christ’s Blood in a bowl,
Though my wife’s recent dream still haunted me.

He seemed to see into my very soul
When I, Pilate, asked Him, “What is the truth?”
Now I know He is the Truth in full,

Yet I forsook Him for a mob uncouth,
Who ripped Him apart by nail and tooth!

III.
Peter
In that mourning morn, the cock had crowed
Thrice. Each time I claimed not to have been
Your friend. When You turned to me, my tears flowed,

As You looked back in sadness, as the men
Dragged You away from me in iron chains;
Your expression surpassed the power of pen.

My denial added to Your pains.
How woefully I walked across the lawn,
Swooning with the moon for the Son Who wanes!

For human love, why did I Your Love pawn?
For those who do not love but only fawn?
I raced to chase Your Face, but You were gone.

I am the Rock whence water He has drawn,
In tears that come with the dew of the dawn.

IV.
Simon
The soldiers wrenched me from the street-side crowd,
Compelling me to help their Prisoner,
But when I saw His Face, as sun breaks cloud,

I found in Him a loving Listener,
Who heard about my life, consoling me,
Though I’d done this to Him, as a sinner.

In His voice, there was no cajoling me,
Only shudders of His gratitude,
Yet to the passers-by extolling me,

I proved myself to be, as ever, rude,
For they – and I – caused Him the pains so keen,
Whenever we strayed from His attitude.

You see that I am Simon the Cyrene.
Who clings unto His Tree shall be serene.

V.
Veronica
I followed Him over the cobblestones
And after He had fallen a third time,
Showing pain with neither tears nor moans,

I came to Him in His inclement clime,
To moor Him Who then seemed so tempest-tossed,
To hold His Head in these small hands of mine.

And lo! Upon my shroud in blood embossed
Was the likeness of my Lord, my God,
Lest His Face should be forever lost,

That Face countlessly pressed upon the sod.
He gave me that solitary grace
To let His Head upon my shoulder nod.

To be His true icon, O human race,
Let Him impress Himself upon your face.

VI.
The Women and the Children
“Blessed are the paps that have not sucked,
And blessed are the wombs that have not born
They will say in those days,” when truth is bucked,

He told us with a voice the most forlorn.
He laid His gentle hand upon us each,
And wept with us a space to see us mourn.

“Weep not for me but for your children,”
He spoke with utmost solace in His voice,
That one can sometimes hear in rain sylvan.

In seasons green we slay; what of the dry?
Thus, to the hills to cover us we cry.

VII.
Blessed Virgin Mary
To find Him in the Temple was a joy;
To find Him with this Cross was a sorrow.
To me alone, God will remain a boy,

The Child of the Eternal Morrow.
My heart beat with His as I clutched Him near.
Together, we every sorrow borrow,

That all who dwell in us feel free of fear,
For there is nothing that we have not felt,
And we hold everyone in our hearts dear.

This must be the sword whose blade will melt
The heart it enters into to the hilt.
Who could not cry to see Him as they pelt?

He formed them all from water and from silt,
On which His creatures His Blood now have spilt.

Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ
I.
Judas
‘Neath torches, I sold my soul for soldi,
So now I wish I never had been born.
My soul inside had grown dead and moldy,

When I delivered Jesus unto scorn.
I betrayed the Son of Man with a kiss,
So like a lamb, of His skin He was shorn.

At His whisper, I could only hiss,
And at His glance, I could only glare,
Although His visage is the source of bliss,

His Mother fed to me her fruits most fair,
While He gave me the cup at our last meal,
Though both of them of my thoughts were aware.

At morn, I hung myself in Potter’s Field.
He hung for me, but I refused to yield.

II.
Roman Guard
I stripped off garments clinging to His skin,
Ripping skin off like flesh from chicken bone,
Nothing stinging me within this sin,

Even as He stood there, all alone.
As silent as a lamb, we laid Him down,
Yet while we nailed Him He did not moan,

Nor did He utter any suffering sound,
As we raised Him far above the ground,
Whence He gazed upon everyone around,

For in such evil does His love abound.
While He gasped, we cast lots on His clothes.
From the crowd, loud laughter did resound,

And He could hear the hisses of our oaths,
But Jesus loves even the one who loathes.

III.
The Evil Thief
Oh, how Jesus’ sweetness makes me sick!
I see with glee His dislocated limbs.
I hate Him, so I hope they kill Him quick.

Why should we abide by His dumb whims?
He lies there, meek and gentle as a lamb.
I could not commit so many sins

To wish more than I do that He would damn
Me to Hell to escape from Him
Who says to lawyers, “You say that I am.”

Even as my vision has grown dim,
I spit upon Jesus of Nazareth,
For He gave me the life that is so grim,

The life that seems to me a labyrinth,
And now we die o’er fields of amaranth.

IV.
The Good Thief, Dismas
“I thirst,” I heard my Jesus whisper near,
But He refused the gall upon the sponge,
For He thirsts for the souls who dwell in fear,

So He let the spear into His Heart plunge,
To free His dear ones from the dungeon room,
While all the demons at His spirit lunge,

Just to rescue us from looming doom.
Why had I made myself His enemy?
I deserved to die, not my Bridegroom,
Whose Blood floods fields of anemone.

“Eloi, eloi, lema sabchthani,”
I heard Him cry up to the crying skies,
But before He let His soul roam free,

He said to me, as the sun set in His eyes,
“Today, you’ll be with me in Paradise.”

V.
Mary Magdalene
His Feet I bathed with tears were bathed with blood
And mud, from His stumbles along the road,
As He Who had unleashed the Great Flood

Watched as the rivers of His Love now flowed
In scarlet streams into my silk-smooth hands
From whence He hung upon the very load

He bore with stately grace that reprimands
Far better than the words of worldlings,
And yet His Name spread to the distant lands,

Like the fragrance of my offerings,
So I who had so often sought to be
Men’s goddess got lost in His Sufferings,

For He cast seven demons out of me,
For He Who’s without sin died on a tree.

VI.
John
I reposed upon His beating breast
As torches flickered in the Upper Room,
And never did I have a sweeter rest,

Even when within my mother’s womb,
And though He held me close, I fell asleep,
Outside the tomb where loomed His bitter doom.

So at His Cross, how could I not but weep,
As blood and water issued from the Heart
Whence He reaped deep secrets for me to keep?

He said to me, His limbs being torn apart,
“Behold, Your Mother.” From her, never part!

VII.
Mary
When the lance penetrated through His side,
I felt a pain transverberate my breast,
And in my heart the stars seemed to have cried

To see the moon reduced to but a crest.
The world’s sin lacerates His skin
And leaves Him on a crucifix to rest.

That they should not love Him – the only sin –
Afflicted me; I, who had suckled Him,
Knew His parched lips the world would never win

With serene smiles and speech of seraphim.
He was confined in me to make men free –
He cried for me, and as His eyes grew dim,

“Woman, behold thy son,” He said to me,
The new Mother of all humanity.

Taking Down the Body of Jesus from the Cross
I.
The Centurion
“Truly, this was the Son of God,” I said,
After I plunged my lance into His Heart,
To determine if He was actually dead,

As if He weren’t already pulled apart.
When the blood and water flowed from His side,
They painted a sight ne’er portrayed in art:

The first face I e’er saw smiled when He died,
Knowing that His death would heal the blind,
And the whole entire world with me sighed.

I loved Him with my heart, soul, strength, and mind,
Poured from the Eternal, Incarnate Word,
Who remains in my memory enshrined.

I am Longinus, who declared, “My Lord!”
He gave me sight when I gave Him my sword.

II.
The Centurion
Skull Hill overlooked the Field of Blood,
A crimson cloak drenched in the setting sun,
Which tore the Temple veil in His flood,

When at last His race was finally run,
“I thirst!” He cried, and then, refused the gall.
“I commend my soul, for it is done.”

He, indeed, had broken down the Wall
And would rebuild it in but three days’ time,
For He had opened Paradise for all

Who would admit that they committed crime,
And thus, the Earth began to quake and quail,
And the bells began to chime and chime.

How blessed am I to live to tell the tale;
I, who held His Blood within the Grail!

III.
The Other Mary
I knelt before His Feet – let Martha cook! –
And knelt before His Feet when they were nailed.
He yelled, “My God, by you, I am forsook?”

And gave up His Ghost as we women wailed.
We pulled Him down and cleansed Him with the nard,
Bathing His limbs which had never flailed,

Though the sin of men His limbs left scarred
By the hard shards of whips and cedar wood
That marred the Flesh of Him, shepherd and bard.

Around His thorn-crowned head, we drew the hood
Of the immaculate and snow-white shroud.
Around His tomb in silent prayer we stood,

With thoughts of hope we dare not breathe aloud,
Lest we in doing so should sound too proud.

IV.
Mary Magdalene
He Who would tell me not to touch Him
Could not tell me to desist right now,
As we wrapped Him, limb to lifeless limb.

Removing Him from His inglorious bough
To anoint Him with hyssop’s holy oil,
The chrism which to youth grace would endow.

I cleansed His fingers that had writ in soil,
To save my life by recounting the sins
Of those who wanted to take it to foil

Them, and rescue me from eternal death,
For I had made a whore out of the soul
He gave to me before I first took breath.

I was first to see His Body Whole,
The Magdalene who preached Him, sea to shoal.

V.
Nicodemus
“Forgive them, for they know not what they do, Father,”
He cried before He died at last,
And His death was mourned only by a few

Including me, for whom He held the door
That He might welcome me out of the crowd,
A teacher I could not see anymore!

The Pharisees now silent, were still proud,
Even as the Temple veil was torn,
And the clouds frowned, and wind on ground grew loud.

In water and spirit we were reborn
And held the hand that pointed to Heaven,
Now dead, pierced through, with Death none can suborn.

He fed me at the Feast of Unleavened
Bread, that I might forgive seven times seven.

VI.
Joseph of Arimathea
I placed the ladder up against the tree,
And with a pathos, I cannot describe,
Removed the nails, and let His Body free

From the heavy bondage of Judas’ bribe.
I took His limpid, limp limbs in my hands
To venerate them with His little tribe

Of followers, compelled by wedding bands,
To be with Him Who died for love of them,
And for the peoples from all of the lands.

We saw Him come into Jerusalem,
Her walls adorned with the bougainvillea.
My fellow Jews just sought to touch His hem.

I am Joseph of Arimathea,
The apostle of Andalusia.

VII.
Blessed Virgin Mary
I who bathed His innocent infant feet,
Cleansed again the feet now nailed through,
Removing Him from His mock-royal seat.

So, I say to you, do what He would do;
Forgive in silence those who threaten you,
No matter who your life just might pursue,

And your life with His Love He will imbue.
I held Him in my lap a final time
For from my womb He did once issue.

Without Him, I was rhythm without rhyme,
As I let the rain wash away His Blood.
For me, He suffered every single crime,

And kept me clean by bleeding in the mud.
Through my hands, His love flows in a flood.

Burial of Jesus in the Tomb

I.
Joseph of Arimathea
I worked hard all my life to pay for land,
Where I could lie and rest once I had died,
But I longed to be at the Lord’s right hand,

For He to me every good had supplied.
I’d rather let Him have my little tomb,
Than from His Kingdom beyond be denied,

For He had knit me in my mother’s womb.
He who does not welcome in the Lord,
Will wander Heaven, yet not find a room.

I am in love with the Eternal Word
With my whole heart, and mind, and soul,
A sheep saved by the death of my Shepherd,

That I may live my life unto the full,
And lead others into His blessed fold.

II.
Nicodemus
The day the world slept, I felt alone,
As thunder rumbled and the raindrops fell,
The world’s tears shed for God, hid in stone,

Like a pearl in an oyster shell.
Thus, as we prayed on that fateful grey day,
The Son of Man descended into Hell.

I felt so sad that I could barely pray,
Afraid that He would not be Who He said.
I waited all night outside where He lay,

But on that morn did He rise from the dead,
As yeast in bread, and Eastern light is shed.

III.
Mary Magdalene
I shredded Him, and yet, He bled for me,
And bred me in the Bread of Life He fed
To me, so from red dread I would be free.

Your Word always stands me in the best stead,
As I remember all You said to me,
As I lay my head upon my bed,

That once was sullied for the world to see.
I saw You leave the tomb I left You in
So, I will go to France, across the sea.

You rose to show how You pull us from sin.
Though You rose, I could not touch You yet,
Until You were with Your Father again.

Since our eyes first met, I could not fret.
You tilled my soiled soul to pay my debt.

IV.
The Other Mary
I went with Magdalene to bear Him balms,
And cleanse His limbs with nard one final time,
Anointing Him with myrrh and other alms

That had perfumed His birth, like death, sublime.
In His silent sleep did He restore
The universe to its rhythm and rhyme,

But when we came unto His deathly door,
I thought I saw an angel in the sun,
A wave from Heaven ebbing from Earth’s shore.

Mary Magdalene to me did run,
And thus, I dropped my oil to the ground,
For we desired that we be as one

With Him Who had been lost and now was found,
To whose glory all our gardens redound.

V.
The Guards
We watched outside the criminal’s grey tomb,
Dismissing notions that He would emerge,
Yet hoping, like a baby from the womb,

From the stone He would surge with the earth’s urge.
Surreal and ethereal would be
The hymns that would replace His funeral dirge.

Lo and behold! The angels we did see,
As they thundered away the boulder there.
How we heard a heavenly harmony,

When we beheld their radiant faces fair,
Their golden hair! We could not dare to stare.
Meanwhile, He disappeared, we knew not where!

We, guards, tried not to care, yet had to share
The news to which Christians their witness bear.

VI.
John
I led our little band into the tomb,
Hidden from the storm and hate outside,
Afraid that this would be the world’s doom.

Upon His Mother’s breast I slumped and cried.
When my eyes had dried, I looked to her,
And she sighed kindly for me, having tried,

In manly fortitude, so to endure,
But Mary valued something even more:
The heart that rests in Her Son’s love most pure.

We laid His Body down and closed the door,
Yet His glory no shroud could smother,
For He arose to live forevermore.

Since He died that He may be Our Brother,
We, too, must call Mary Our Mother.

VII.
Blessed Virgin Mary
I cradled Him again in swaddling clothes,
As we hid Him beneath the warm earth.
Though I heard the soldiers’ loathsome oaths,

‘Gainst Truth, to Whom in my youth I gave birth,
Who would deal death to all our fears.
He died so each may know his or her worth

In His eyes of love through blood and tears,
For He loves us inexhaustibly,
And all the thoughts we’ve ever had He hears.

When I saw Him on that first Easter morn,
I knew He would my body soon assume,
To be with Him, the reason we were born.

You who pray to Him come from my womb
Will come with us again out of the tomb,
For no words can convey the Sword of Sorrow
Above the Ave that has no tomorrow.