Stations of The Cross 2010

Jesus Dies on The Cross


is an unfamiliar falling
away of the limbs and the will,
an ebbing of purpose and momentum;
pain and exhaustion flicker
so that there is a strange alternation
between being in oneself and watching;
and with this withering, what is left of life's flower turns towards my Father.
I 'cross off' the world
in asking forgiveness for all who are left in witness,
I ask him - partly to escape the pain,
more to achieve completeness -
to take me back into his arms.
"Have I done enough?"
I wonder, peering back out into the world of darkness;
and this uncertainty makes me feel unutterably desolate.
I think: "Has he abandoned me?"
but then I see a shadowy drama played out,
half-way between earth and heaven,
as the spirit of Elijah and an angel hover over a beggar.
A goblet of wine glints dully in the gloom,
and there is a macabre dance
between a Levite and a soldier.
The spirits of the thieves flash by like comets
and I think that is when I begin to die
as the impetus for speculation fades.
I am sure some think it is the last moment of desolation,
the ruin of The Kingdom,
or perhaps one man's humiliation;
and others, improbably, will think
that behind the 'scandal' of my degradation
there is something deep and golden;
but there is nothing.
The essence of obedience is to live in my Father's space,
humble, unconditional.


quickens as the blood ebbs.
Time for final dispositions.
I say: "Mother."
She says: "Sweet Jesus mine,
soon you will have gone back to the Father, to your golden throne."
"Mother, I will not leave you to earthly trials for long
between my throne and your throne,
only to see The Spirit and my work for God well done,
to see the Spirit transform my beloved companions.
I give you John
for muscle and for bone."
She looks nervously as a woman would
who moves from the household she has built
to a bachelor's retreat.
I say: "John, here is your mother
in need of comfort and protection;
give her some leeway in the matter of lentils and linen."
He looks slightly guilty, the state of the place worrying him,
even while this sacred drama is reaching its climax.
They stand, not quite looking, not quite touching,
not quite knowing how to behave in this new situation.
The rest draw into a circle
and, in memory of our last meal together,
I call for a cup
and, even though it is more like vinegar than wine,
it serves the purpose,
the memory is distilled,
the Scriptures are fulfilled.
This is the last human act I undertake;
and that circle is the last human scene I see.
Now all dispositions have been made,
the drama is completed.
The Father has been glorified in me;
he holds what they would call my future, in his hands
to which I travel as time ceases  to pray
and the blood ebbs away.