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Poetry Magnum Opus

This Man


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These punctures on the head, with blood dried, masked his face, 
were pierced by mockery and thousand insults weaved 
like spikes in thorn branches, his crown for his head.

This skin, these lesions, sank death closer to the bones.
These bruises came from lies so wicked enveloped in fists 
whose blows spared neither body nor limbs.

This back was disfigured, lacerated, and torn open 
by sheep bones of hate, each clawed itself into skin,
into flesh, with every flagellum's whip.

These ribs, this open fissure, jabbed deep by a spear, 
poured forth water of forgiveness, streaming 
to cleanse an earth, blood-soaked.

His time of death-
3 pm, Friday.

(NOTE: In time for Lent, I edited this poem and cleaned it up a bit.)

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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David W. Parsley


A timely and moving piece, as doc says.  I particularly admire the theological irony of the speculated use of sheep bones in the cat o' nine tails used to scourge "this man" (nice use of ambiguity and understatement.)  In addition to explicating aspects of the device deliberately introduced to increase pain and damage to the victim, it intersects with a key doctrinal precept that he accepted torment on behalf of the sheep of his pasture, a torment engendered by the trespasses of those very sheep.  Isaiah explains it well:

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

Thank you for this.

 - Dave

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