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No Poisoned Chalice




A Poem for the Feast of Corpus Christi



Do this, he told us,

to fuel remembering

he made a Present

of the transfigured Future

in mundane token


He knocked the scaffold

of proud heritage away


Hope so that hardened magma

was inspired to melt


Fellowship was good

dipping bread together in

herb-tinctured unction

sipping the same sanguine cup

Love's Grace abounding


We'd hone our purpose

re-enacting these shared times

communion scenes

would stiffen our endeavour

to see Rome remove


its heel from our necks

Caesar's laurels bite the dust

monuments fall; the

Eternal City laid waste

foreign rulers done






That was then; how dim

our understanding of him

Earth did not bind him

stone was already shattered

the stakes raised higher


 Former things were gone

We were past death and dying

He'd been there, done that

on our behalf; we lived now

in him, he in us


The rate of exchange

was wondrously outlandish

the currency, dough

fired in the kiln, and fruit

of the blood-fed vine


At one, all savour

this new future perfect feast

earnest of our will

now no mortal wasted crumb

no poisoned chalice.






 Poem from Jericho Rose, Songs from the Wilderness (collection in preparation).

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