Phillip Medhurst

Wisdom from a Gnostic Sage

Tag: Mary

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Later Pieta (Michelangelo)

 

I bear this weight with dignity,

For meaning is in symmetry –

Or so it seemed that way, when I

Could easily command plasticity.

 

I chiselled him – the crucified –

As handsome then: a slumbering lord,

And Mary still resplendent in

Her prime, and poised, and aureoled

 

In draperies. But now he droops

As heavy as a corpse will be,

And she, wrapped up against the cold,

Just clutches at this clod, her son.

 

I had to come in person and

Join in this undertaking, but

I’m growing old, and now don’t know

Where beauty is. And that’s the truth.

 

 

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.

 

 

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 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.

 

 

On Mary’s Assumption

 

Our Lady’s body suffered not decay,

Exempt from the determined consequence

Of carnal lust and fell concupiscence,

The penalty which Adam’s kind all pay.

Do I then rave if I speak of a Day

When an archangel’s shout will call me thence,

Embodied soul, to get my recompense

For what I said, did, did not do, or say;

Or speculate that I will then be changed

Into a wholesome, holy entity

In which the atoms have been re-arranged

By my Redeemer, who I then shall see

In this my flesh? I am, perhaps, deranged

While hope defies impossibility.