Thursday, April 13, 2017

THE MASTER’S VOICE     Matthew 29:30
Bread broken, a hymn was sung.
“I will not drink of the vine,
fruit of earthly soil until new
with you in my father’s kingdom.”
He raised his voice a soft rumble;
The root note beneath them all.
Thunder in the distance, his bass
Lifted them sweetly aloft.

Perhaps he voiced high tenor,
His lips shaping clear vowels
That soared above the others.
He set the true pitch sensed
 in shimmering stars.
Did their wet eyes seek his,
Inhale in unison, or did Jesus
Tap the downbeat?

Harmony in fifths and fourths
Angelic voices chimed in above.
Marys and Simons in harmony
Tightly woven, occasional
Dissonance relaxed melts into
the sweetest tension.
Earthly echoes of heavenly resonance
A Capella or did John tune the lute?

This the voice lambs heard,
Stilled the water, raised the dead.
Which psalm duets the last cup?
A tremor here and a catch
In breath, there, they blend again.
A plagal echo lingers eternally
Absorbed in ancient walls,
Witnessed the final Amen.

By Mary Stromer Hanson March 2016
Painting by Jacques Joseph Tissot (1836-1902:  
Last Discourse of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Mary's Sword

Mary’s Sword   Poem by Mary Stromer Hanson 4/9/2017
Art: "Women at the Cross" by William Strang 1859-1921

Huddled beneath the cross,
We sink in blood-soaked mud.
Stones embedded in our knees,
Light, dark, thunder, sun again.
Has it been a day? Time is lost.
Moaning mouths now silent,
No two words cling together.
My son just cried, “Father,
Why have you forsaken me?”

Long ago, Gabriel spoke,
“You are highly favored!”
My young body was eager,
My faith was so innocent,
“May it happen as you say.”
Youthful ignorance spoke,
He meant favored for this?
To see my son brutally die?
God, to this I did not agree!

My firstborn was a delight,
Despite the village gossip,
Dear Joseph at my side then,
Ignored the whispered scorn.
A sword did not occur to me.
At first my younger children,
Did not all agree with him.
He asked, “who is my mother?”
That one day, like I wasn’t there!

Simeon’s mysterious words,
“The rise and fall of many.”
Our house was full of friends,
How was I so naive?
One denied him last night,
Betrayed him with a kiss.
You his Father, you allowed this!
Remember, His earthly flesh mine.
Were we not in this together?

Now I know this sword of Simeon,
He said this child, my son, will
Be the rise and fall of many.
Spouses split, friends fail,
Sheep scattered, curtain rent.
The Jews in disarray,
My heart pierced lifeless.
The mighty win, the poor

still hunger. That sword.