Poem 182 – Scarred

Our scars are pinned upon us,
a transcript of past hurts
inscribed upon our flesh
so that we don’t forget.
This catalogue of incident,
like DNA, describes us.

Below, a deeper inventory:
the scars torn in our hearts,
witnesses to past pains,
which also carved our character,
etching personality.

Easter morn and scars
still marked the risen Christ.
Incongruous wounds? Not these.
Without them he’s reduced,
Messiah undone, no victory won,
a shadow of a saviour.
They’re how we know it’s him.

One day we’ll also rise,
but will our grave-born bodies
enjoy disfigurement,
stigmata of past battles
displayed in celebration?
Or will our newborn skin
be left bereft and clean?
If so, I have to ask,
will we be recognisable?

An Easter poem. Will the life to come render our current experiences irrelevant, or do they count, even the tough ones. A sequel of sorts to Poem 181. I might come back to this; it’s not quite there, but close enough to express my thoughts.

© Ben Quant 2023
Photo by Tom Jur on Unsplash

Poem 181 – Good Friday

What does it mean, this scene so strange?
Darkness descends to shroud the skies
Creator enters creation to die
The pregnant earth gives birth once more
A way from heaven to earth is torn
Centurion spies the Son and mourns
In death, it seems, a kingdom’s born

A short verse inspired by Matthew 27:45-54.

© Ben Quant 2023
Photo by Dylan McLeod on Unsplash

Poem 116 – Mistaken Identity

The bold headline nailed to the billboard shouts
The executioner’s next victim’s name
It reads, ‘Jesus, King of the Jews’, that’s who
Identified, betrayed through a guilty kiss

The leaders rant and rave, ‘This cannot be
Pilate, this is mistaken identity
This man is not our King he doesn’t speak
For us, rewrite your sign once more we plead!’

Mistaken identity, how could that be?
Recall the many things he’s said and done
The signs are there for all to see that this
Is no mere man. He’s the Chosen One

The blind can see, the lame can walk, and those
With leprosy are healed, and deaf ears opened
The dead are raised, the poor receive good news
…Tell me, what else might you expect to see?

Pilate’s response, ‘What I have written, I
Have written, and my sign will not be changed!’
But is this undermined by his cruel nails
That pin it there along with hands and feet?

The sky turns black as up above a final sigh
The one who hangs there drops lifeless and still
And with him hangs the question, were they right?
There surely is no way
That at our hand our God
Could die and find his end
Could we been mistaken?

I’ve been asked to write a poem reflecting on John 19:16-22 from the Bible for today’s Good Friday service. It struck me that in these few verses that like the religious leaders and Pilate we’re being asked the question, just who is this man.

© Ben Quant 2022