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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 from 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 so 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.

(A poem meant to remember Jesus.)

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

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David W. Parsley

Joel, this is vivid and insightful, highly appropriate for the onset of Palm Sunday and Holy Week.  Particularly poignant is the detail of sheep bones which were typically incorporated into the cat o' nine tails used at the time.  I am very moved by the irony of these particular relics of slain gentle beasts now ravening at the tender flesh of the Great Shepherd like predators he was even now facing for the protection of his flock.  Most effective is the brevity of the poem, plugging into a familiar narrative at a few critical points.

 - David

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Thank you David and DrC. 

Thanks for that insight on the sheep bone as instrument of violence and the sheep metaphor, people Jesus tried to protect

A TV series where a medico legal recites his findings about a corpse inspired this poem.

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

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  • 1 month later...

Excellent treatment of a matter of the utmost importance.

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