Phillip Medhurst

Wisdom from a Gnostic Sage

Month: Feb, 2016

My Ship of Death

I’m reading “A Ship for the Death of Phillip Medhurst” on Scribd. Check it out:

Phillip Medhurst

The “Great Compassion” Dharani

I’m reciting “A Meaningful Buddhist Mantra” on Scribd. Check it out:

Phillip Medhurst

Aquero (Lourdes)


Within this cave I heard “That Thing”

Disclosing how our prayers

Could kindle light, transfiguring

Those crippled by their cares.


And thus re-made, a sluggish flow

Could spring to healing spate.

Old bones could pave the way to show

Changed flesh, immaculate.


Illumined by the moon, the night

Revealed to preternatural sight

An azure cincture round the earth

As clay, by grace, brought Hope to birth.



Teresa of Avila


A cherub pressed me to my knees:

He held a flaming spear.

He struck again, and then again:

As much as I could bear.

I soon abandoned all desire

For this sweet pain to cease.

No other bliss compares to this

Felicitous disease.

I greet this torment willingly.

I fondly hug the wound.

Love’s quarry, breathless, flees no more,

For she is run to ground.






Incandescent lamp-posts glow

Brightly through the shower of snow.

The tombstones, wet,

Reflect a flash

Of fake resuscitation.

The pale scene vaunts

Beauty unmarred,

Unstained by obscene flesh.

How perfect and pristine! –

Unspoilt by bestial notions

Of God dropped in the hay,

And livestock’s smoky breath

Set to thaw Death.




Sam found a little knife

While wand’ring in the ward.

When nurses tried to truss

The old man to a chair,

He cut their knotted tape

And made good his escape.


But is he strong enough

To grab with steady hand

The starched lapel of Life-

In-Death’s white coat and crash

That cranium’s empty dome?

That way, he might get home.



Noli Me Tangere (to Mary Magdalene)


To me it seemed a comforting idea,

Too welcome, too sublime to be untrue

That love and meaning could thus rendez-vous:

Be gazed upon, and touched.


But doubts persist that I imagined Him.

When He did not appear I then assumed

A love that God in fact was loath to show

Unto The Crucified.


Yet can there be conclusion to my grief

If I can never cling to one who walks

Within the graveyard of my dreams, with voice

Unsilenced by his pain?


And does my vision promise me too much?

Does Christ Himself recoil from ill-placed trust,

Compelled to say, “Noli me tangere” –

That flesh can never tarry.






O Christ, thy crown is broke in two pieces:

Give half to me, O give half to me.

O Christ thy cloak is riven in pieces:

Give some to me, O give some to me.


And I will mould a smaller crown,

And patch a cloak for me.

And I shall go down, down,

Down unto the sea.

And the sea shall part for me.




This is a photo of De Loutherbourg’s original drawing pasted into the Bowyer Bible, a grangerized version of the Macklin Bible.

Bowyer Bible 43.6063/6064. Tail-piece to the first epistle of Paul the apostle to the Corinthians, vignette with sword slicing through a skull with snake in mouth. See 1 Corinthians 15:26. The print: letterpress in two columns above and on verso. 1800. Inscriptions: Lettered below image with production detail: “P J de Loutherbourg RA inv et del”, “J. Heath direx” and publication line: “Published by T Macklin June 17 1800”. Print made by James Heath. Dimensions: Height: 487 millimetres; width: 390 millimetres.

From a collection of photographs of the Bowyer Bible in Bolton Museum, England curated by Phillip Medhurst.

Phillip Medhurst

He Descended into Hell


He Descended into Hell

Phillip Medhurst