THE LIGHT

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

We pause today to remember Good Friday in anticipation of Easter.

THE LIGHT 

And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness could not overcome it” (Jn. 1:5).

There is no deeper darkness.

The rattle of the dirt upon the lid

Must cause some sound waves, even in the close

And muffled air; they fall on a deaf ear.

No light wave even tries to tempt the eye.

The rasping of the rock that rolls to close

A cave would have a similar effect,

Though louder—just as futile for the ear

And just as good at cutting off the eye.

An earthquake opened this one up again,

Which should have made no difference at all.

But when the rising sun stooped and looked in,

Its photons found the night already fled.

A Light that dawned before there was a dawn,

A Light too light and subtle for the eye,

Had flashed already.  The more garish sun

Came later, just to let the eye catch up.

The women brought theirs first to gaze upon

What sights the sun was competent to show:

The grave clothes folded and the body gone,

Two men in white who simply made no sense,

A gardener who—but no, that could not be.

Their hearts stopped cold—then started up again.

They blinked their eyes and suddenly could see

The empty cave now gaping in the garden,

The road out to the village of Emmaus,

An upper chamber in Jerusalem,

A campfire on the beach in Galilee

Saw many cold hearts starting up again

And heavy eyelids blinking into vision.

Once let loose, it could not be contained.

The Light leapt forth: Jerusalem, Judaea,

Samaria, the far ends of the earth.

To eyes invisible, from heart to heart

It traveled.  Darkness could not overcome it.

Deserts, oceans proved no barrier.

Murderous opposition only served

To fan the Flame.  It shines around us still,

Still pointing to the Cave beside the Hill.

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016) and “An Encouraging Thought”: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018)! Order from the publisher or Amazon.

Donald T. Williams, PhD

CXXX

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

 It is now 1984-5.  I continue serving as pastor of the First Evangelical Free Church of Marietta, GA.  The discipline of weekly biblical exposition is showing up in my poetic life, while inspiration from my other reading and from Nature both continue.  The resulting mix was (to me, at least) quite interesting.  What makes this sonnet interesting is the ironic understatement of the last line.

Crucifixion-Glass

Thoughts of a Night Watchman

Sonnet XLI

“The elements are simple:  flesh, and stone,

Shroud, seal, silence, watching guard,

Dew, lingering smell of myrrh and nard;

Deserted by his friends, he lies alone.

A prophet, touted once for David’s throne,

A good man and a healer—but he jarred

Their consciences just once too often—hard—

And so became a bag of rotting bone.”

 

“We’ve seen a lot of cases:  other men—

Messiahs always end up in a tomb,

The elements the same.  As you’d assume,

Their names are never heard on earth again—

And this one’s won’t be either, I dare say.”

It was almost the dawn of the third day.

" . . . and rise from the dead the third day . . ."
” . . . and rise from the dead the third day . . .”

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

Donald T. Williams, PhD