All the blond Jesuses

You see them wriggle free of windows,
lithe as silver fish, but golden-haired.
These Jesuses, blond sons of blond Marys,
head out the door to play cricket,
with leather and willow in sudden whites.
St Dorothy joins in, and its all fruit
and flowers and UK May, as Jesuses
bloom like jonquils on the soft field.
Sometimes a Jesus will stop for a while,
and an almost-frown appear. He recalls
another day, when he was darker skinned,
darker haired, and his reaching hands
caught iron, not the ball flicked to slip
like an idea. Oranges smile like cut suns.
The stumped Jesus reconciles himself
to this easier gig, amongst teammates
all as blond and as quick as wit itself.
He scampers between wickets, wood kinder
than when he cried, and slumped and died,
before the dark cave, and its inconstant rock.

PS Cottier

William_Blake_-_Christ_Appearing_to_the_Apostles_after_the_Resurrection_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

This poem has appeared in Verity La and in my short collection Selection Criteria for Death in Triptych Poets Issue 3 (Blemish Books).

It’s an interesting thing that some put more emphasis on the crucifixion than the resurrection; dwelling on pain rather than the triumph of good over evil, or hope, if you prefer. Those two are running through my poem, and I’ll avoid roping in any yellow tape. You can rough up a metaphor too thoroughly.

He is risen indeed!

Forty-league boots

We cross the Pacific
leaping between plastic islands.
Great ballooning whales
squeak beneath our soles,
harpooned by our heels.
We  are the waste-walkers —
everyone her own Jesus.

PS Cottier

under-water

So we’re contributing to the flooding of small Pacific nations, while creating huge floating islands of trash. Gives a whole new meaning to the word recycling. ‘We’, in this context, refers to all the industrial economies that refuse to take global warming seriously.

And I know Jesus walked on water, not convenient piles of trash, but it seemed to make a kind of sense.

Christmas Poem: Forecast

December 21, 2016

Forecast

It’s 12 degrees in Bethlehem
right now, a satellite says.
Cold, but not cold enough
to freeze a woman, kill a man,
or icicle a donkey.
But babies are mere hope,
hope wrapped in folds of flesh,
and that needs relief from wind.
Even 12 degrees will bite
a baby with teeth of blue,
suck out crimson hope
faster than any ghoul.
So came a shed, some hay,
the pleasant fug of cattle.
And god, mewling in the grain,
seeding time, forever.
It’s 12 degrees in Bethlehem,
a satellite says, just now.

PS Cottier

Onthemorningthomas1

The funny thing is that when I searched for the weather in Bethlehem, I was first directed to the United States where there’s another place by that name.

Have a wonderful Christmas and see you next year (through my special reverse-blog glasses).

Two thousand years (or so)

And so, before this, in Europe,
there were eggs, and celebrations
and the lovely call of Spring?
So what, my dear, so what?
Give me the man
with the steel pierced hands
and the rock rolled back.
Give me blood, and the wine and bread,
the kiss on the cheek
the love of the leper,
and the woman loving too much
he dismissed with equal love.

This is the man;
and always the women
listening and learning (and even teaching),
and mourning, until he came to whisper;
I am faithful and I am here;
always alive and always here.
My Easter, so very old.
My Easter, so very new.

P.S. Cottier

Jesus_Resurrection_1778Jesus_Resurrection_1778

I really don’t know how I managed to post two ginger Jesuses, but I suppose I can pretend that’s one for each thousand years or so.

The poem is based on the type of comment one often reads that points out that Christianity ‘stole’ Easter, and that somehow proves that it has nothing genuine to it.  That’s how all human institutions work, through influence and parasitism.  Look at the English language, for example!  Doesn’t prove or disprove anything about the existence of god, really, the fact that people previously celebrated the arrival of Spring.

I started watching the film The Passion of the Christ recently and found it beyond terrible.  I have yet to see a good film about Jesus; perhaps because the words and ideas are the important thing.  But a poet would think that, I suppose.

I had a nice time at the coast over Easter, swimming and enjoying the last warmth. Soon Canberra will demand gloves and coats. Which is cool, in terms of being able to flaunt accessories, but miserable in that you actually need them to avoid freezing.  The moment where cool meets cold is an unwanted slap of reality.

So there you have it; religion and fashion.  Next week: what’s with the outbreak of ugly camel coats and will they squeeze through the eye of a needle?

 

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (from ‘In Memoriam A.H.H.’)

Onthemorningthomas1

I would have sworn that I had posted this before, but I can’t find it. Doesn’t matter anyway, as it is a lovely piece that deserves frequent reading. The repetition of the word ring is quite remarkable. William Blake is always good, too.

We’re yet to reach the rule of the larger heart or the kindlier hand, and the times seem pretty cold, even here in a very hot Australia. But Christmas is a time to hope for renewal. As is Easter, but let’s not get head of ourselves…

Best wishes to everyone reading, and Merry Christmas from your ex-atheist blogger, as we move towards 2016.