A poem for each day of Holy Week  

Holy Monday 3rd April

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 4th April

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 5th April

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 6th 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 7th 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


tugged upwards

by light

while deep within

roots like talons

are taking hold again

of this our only earth

Saturday 8th April

While it was Still Dark  by Rod Key


not the great shout he’s risen –

not there –


the imperceptible point of


is in the stone-sealed linen-wrapped dark in

unconscious earth



eternity’s born in


first stirring of the blood