Saturday, April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday


Descent

“…he went and made proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey.”
                                    1 Peter 3.19

(Rilke)

Seduced, finally, he fled
that pale, thin body and all the suffering
it endured. Up, he went. He put it all
behind him. Even the darkness was afraid
and hurled winged bats at that
blood-drained body lying there.
At night, dread surged
in the veins and membranes of their wings,
wings that fluttered
and twitched in remembrance
of that pain which lies
with the body—both of them
dead and cold.
Even the very air darkened
and felt sorrow for this flesh.

In the night, the dark animals—
driven by the moon—
wailed
and went stupid with grief.

Maybe his freed spirit
meant to wander about
in the bare-lit countryside,
moving and doing as shadows do
at night. What he suffered
was enough. What
moved in the night—
these shadowy figures—
were gentle to him
and he, in turn, longed
to embrace them
as a room embraces mourners.

Beneath it all, the earth—
thirsty after draining his wounds—
cracked and split open.
In the abyss, a voice
cried out. No stranger
to anguish, he heard
and understood
that hell howled for him
to finish what
began with his first
movement of pain, hoping
their pain would end
when his finally did.

Still, the fear of pain reigned
for the moment. Down, his spirit
plummeted, weighed
by exhaustion. And there,
he walked impatiently
through the rain of amazed expressions
from those sighing shadows
who stood about, shocked.
Among them, he set
his gaze upon that first man of the earth.
He ran! his stride taking him
deeper. There, he was swallowed
by the darkness. He then reappeared,
only to be swallowed once more,
this time into the wreckage of the deepest places.
Finally, up he went, up
over the voices pouring out
as he climbed. With them,
hands grasped in his hands, through
the sounds and sights, he rose
toward that sturdy place
of his lying down. There,
not breathing or blinking,
he stood up without support,
owning all anguish. Silent.    

Copyright © 2014 by Jamie Parsley (from That Word

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