Phillip Medhurst

Wisdom from a Gnostic Sage



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.