Monday, March 10, 2008

For Lent

Play the Psalms -
Pick your palms,
Rent hands are dry and scratched.
Narnia has run its course
There's mud before eggs hatch.

Desert's dry -
Rub your eye,
No ravens have appeared.
The lion's share is remorse
There's sand in flesh that's seared.

Famine takes -
Weep your lakes,
Gethsemene remains.
The table's ropes left screams hoarse
There's hollow, lifeless veins.

Birds refrain -
Leave your gain,
The priests will take it home.
Mice labor with zealous force
There's unlit paths to roam.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Glass-Turner said...

For the record, for those of you who thought, "oh, nice, she's trying to write poetry, i don't get it," well, there is rhyme and reason to this madness.
You may notice that one line - the fourth, is it? - in each stanza, holds a reference to The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.
You may notice biblical imagery from both Old and New Testaments scattered abroad.
You may notice that it doesn't quite ring triumphant.
That's because Lent is the darkest hour just before dawn. It is the quiet tomb on Saturday. It is rainy nights of the 40 days of flood. It is the driven wilderness. It is the famine in Egypt, the want of the widow, the lack of fish and loaves. As famine precedes plenty, and want heralds abundance, and lack suggests leftovers, so Lent comes before the brilliant spectrum of Easter light. This season of spiritual mourning, I thought, was well captured in Lewis' depiction of the children weeping over Aslan's dead, limp, maneless body. But even in the dark of the night, mice are nibbling away at the cords that bind him. And so, Lent is not completely still, but rather a time that presses forward, an active silence. The Spirit broods over the deep.