Phillip Medhurst

Wisdom from a Gnostic Sage

Month: Feb, 2016

He Descended into Hell

 

My heart goes down to Hell with him,

Though I must shut my eyes

To what he sees. I fear the dark,

But trail with quiet tread

Lest he looks back,

And weakening, lets me cling to him.

 

For he has work to do within

That senseless void, and I

Must be a hovering thing and hope

That he will see the light

Again, and say

That unmade, made again, is good.

 

Mater Dolorosa

 

The pains of childbirth, then of dispossession,

A leaping heart, then steady retrogression

Was all angelic flutters came to bring.

Fair salutations bore a farewell sting.

 

And Death’s dark angel did not pass my door,

But slammed the board, demanding more and more.

My God, you owe this to me: let me see

Wherefore my child has now forsaken me.

 

I want to see him rise to tear the veil,

And borne by angels his kind Father hail,

As his bejewelled banner he unfurls,

His blood its rubies and my tears its pearls.

 

The Rood

 

A tree is butchered into beams,

Torn flesh emblematised,

As Jesse’s rod is re-conceived –

Delivered cruciform.

 

Adorned with jewels, hung with gold,

The ark becomes a rood.

A flotsam of humanity

Drowns in a sea of blood.

 

Epiphany

 

In inky shadows sages scratched,

Got drunk on mythic wines.

Philosophies were sometimes hatched

From patterns in the signs.

 

Yet three, drawn on by astral light,

With minds as clear as day,

Traversed the sands to catch a sight

Of Truth in swaddled clay.

 

 

Icon

 

Though man-proportioned, Christos shrinks

Into His mother’s robe:

Our God kenotic made.

 

The Virginal Conception

 

Mary, maid and mother – both –

Conceives divinity.

(Fire, we’re told, does not consume

Her pure virginity).

 

You who tread on holy ground

Put on simplicity.

If He is to be born, God needs

All your complicity.

 

Annunciation

 

As swift as eye-of-reason’s blink

Consent, in waiting, parted lips.

As quick as pulse could leap to beat

Of wing, her cry let fly to air

Where word met Word. Thunder unrolled –

Salvation’s sentence in pursuit

Of spirit’s lightning dart to soul

Pre-hushed. Her heart, inviolate still,

Now known, knew all. So All the valley

Filled, and pure Love’s river swelled,

Then brimmed to shed its tide on time.

 

 

The Sacrifice

 

A sacrifice like Abel’s is required:

No shrieking root torn up,

Or apple plucked and dashed,

But some born thing, with sentience,

Whose face, bewildered by the knife

Will stare as life flows out.

 

That way our God is satisfied,

Reclaiming what he once bestowed,

Maybe, heartless, envying

This creature-kind who lived

And loved the crimson blood too much –

As though it were its own.

 

The Scapegoat

 

Each head, bowed down with several cares

Is raised to watch the sacrifice

Proceed to where Jehovah waits

To host a feast that famishes.

This flock anticipates a goat

That stumbles on the precipice.

We cannot spare our sympathy.

With it bad karma vanishes.

 

Mardi Gras

 

Fat first-fruits pledge what is to be:

A growing and a ripening sea.

His promise raises us from sleep

To cross, in forty days, the deep.