A poem for each day of Holy Week  

Holy Monday 29th March

From: The Spirit of Place by Adrienne Rich

 

The work of winter starts fermenting in my head

How (with the hands of a lover or a midwife)

To hold back till the time is right

 

Force nothing, be unforced

Accept no giant miracles of growth

By counterfeit light

 

Trust roots, allow the days to shrink …

Here in the north where winter has a meaning

Where nothing is promised

 

Learn what an underground journey

has been, might have to be

 

Holy Tuesday 30th March

i carry your heart by e e cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart)i am never without it(anywhere

i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done

by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear

no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want

no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you

 

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

 

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

 

 

Holy Wednesday 31st March

The Bright Field by R S Thomas

 

I have seen the sun break through

to illuminate a small field

for a while, and gone my way

and forgotten it. But that was the pearl

of great price, the one field that had

treasure in it. I realize now

that I must give all that I have

to possess it. Life is not hurrying

 

on to a receding future, nor hankering after

an imagined past. It is the turning

aside like Moses to the miracle

of the lit bush, to a brightness

that seemed as transitory as your youth

once, but is the eternity that awaits you.

 

Maundy Thursday 1st April

Still, like a Child by Andrew Rudd

 

Like a child

still in the womb

I pray, my knees bent

and my head bowed.

 

Like a child

still in the womb

I wait, trembling at the largeness

of the world

into whose incomprehensible hands

You will deliver me.

 

Good Friday 2nd April                  

When the Time’s Toxins by Christian Wiman

 

When the time’s toxins

have seeped into every cell

and like a salted plot

from which all rain, all green are gone

I and life are leached

of meaning,

somehow a seed

of belief

sprouts the instant

I acknowledge it:

little weedy hardly-would-be

greenness

tugged upwards

by light

while deep within

roots like talons

are taking hold again

of this our only earth

Saturday 3rd March

While it was Still Dark  by Rod Key

No

not the great shout he’s risen –

not there –

 

the imperceptible point of

now

is in the stone-sealed linen-wrapped dark in

unconscious earth

there

 

eternity’s born in

that

first stirring of the blood