April 05, 2012

Holy Week: Magnolia (II)

For Holy Week, I'm sharing a few photos from my most recent black and white roll of film. The film is from six weeks ago--the very early part of spring and the beginning days of Lent. We've exploded into blossoms and color by now.  Have our souls?  Are we ready for the coming of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection? I'm not. So, I've paired them with a few poems and quotes for these final days of Lent. 


(An Excerpt from) LOVES
by Scott Cairns

           Magdalen’s Epistle

Of Love’s discrete occasions, we
observe sufficient catalogue,
a likely-sounding lexicon

pronounced so as to implicate
a wealth of difference, where reclines
instead a common element,

itself quite like those elements
partaken at the table served
by Jesus on the night he was

betrayed—like those in that the bread
was breakable, the wine was red
and wet, and met the tongue with bright,

intoxicating sweetness, quite
like ... wine. None of what I write arrives
to compromise that sacrament,

the mystery of spirit graved
in what is commonplace and plain—
the broken, brittle crust, the cup.

Quite otherwise, I choose instead
to bear again the news that each,
each was still itself, substantial

in the simplest sense. By now, you
will have learned of Magdalen, a name
recalled for having won a touch

of favor from the one we call
the son of man, and what you’ve heard
is true enough. I met him first

as, mute, he scribbled in the dust
to shame some village hypocrites
toward leaving me unbloodied,

if ill-disposed to taking up
again a prior circumstance.
I met him in the house of one

who was a Pharisee and not
prepared to suffer quietly
my handling of the master’s feet.

Much later, in the garden when,
having died and risen, he spoke
as to a maid and asked me why

I wept. When, at any meeting
with the Christ, was I not weeping?
For what? I only speculate

—brief inability to speak,
a weak and giddy troubling near
the throat, a wash of gratitude.

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