ODES FOR EASTER PEOPLE
(John 20: 1-18)
~ 1 ~
From what I’ve known of emptiness
it’s usually an empty place,
but the empty tomb of Jesus
holds the world of time and space.
From what I’ve known of losses
there’s often nothing left to be heard,
but death could not hold Jesus
and does not have the final word.
From what I’ve known of tombstones
stillness is statement and claim,
but the stone rolled back for Jesus
and all our destiny is changed . . .
~ 2 ~
We spin our tombs out of tough threads
of rage, grief, bitterness, regret,
sealed inside with our guilt, our dreads
where no light comes. And yet
we are not abandoned, and there
in the hard cocoon, if we let it,
we may begin to change. Care
breaks in, God’s loving breath, warm;
and slowly the old life, stripped bare,
begins to break apart, transform,
emerge as something different, new –
the old hurts and wounds, the torn
places, the toughened parts too
starting to heal; our being beginning to change.
In time we can choose to leave our cocoon,
and with trust, it splits open. And with strange
bright wings unfolding to the fragrant air
we surface – by death and resurrection rearranged.
~ 3 ~
I know you’re there, my Easter flower,
hidden for a while in earth’s deep darkness,
soon to break forth like song out of silence,
soon to show again your resurrection power,
rising up where no weed should be growing, out
of rough dirt, smooth lawns, cracks between stones,
rising again from being cut, pulled up, mowed down,
supposedly dead. I know the scented white shout
of the trumpets of lilies is the common choice
in sanctuaries showing Easter joy and glory,
but for me it is your undefeatable story,
the stubborn ruggedness of your sunlit voice,
that best symbolizes the resilience of faith
and the undying steadfastness of God’s love.
Try as the world might to root out and shove
you back to the dark, your bright yellow face
still blooms where it will. Irrepressible weed,
may your ever-renewing blossoms become
a sign of the kingdom of which every one
of us can be joyous, undefeated, irrepressible seed.
Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King