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Poem: “Thorns”

All but cursed, the men of dust,

From garden’d bliss dejected thrust.

Cast down to blood and tangling thorn,

Flat-faced in mud, bereft, forlorn. 


Unmoved as ages droned along,

Resigned to sighing pity’s song.

To mouth their sadness with each breath,

In love with self and sin and death. 


Then glancing back, a glimmering sight,

Through gnarling weeds, a shaft of light.

The tree untouched, of matchless type,

Engorged with life, effulgent, ripe. 


It lay beyond the thorny wall,

A tantalizing siren’s call.

All wrong reversed, all tears made good,

All hunger filled with holy food. 


New drive possessed the men of dust,

They set to work with primal thrust.

To have the fruit at any cost,

If failing this then all is lost. 


And so they pressed against the wall

Of thorns and blades and jagged sprawl.

Their eyes aglow with mad intent,

Their bodies pierced and torn and rent. 


Their flesh sliced through by razor wire,

Could not abate their one desire.

No hurt could halt their desperate zeal.

“Once through, the tree alone will heal!” 


Their bodies strewn along the route,

Their hands outstretched to reach the fruit.

Yet none would cross this death-divide,

Their hope lay on the thorny side. 


Behind them in the other way,

Another tree for sinners lay.

It stood apart and unacquired,

Gnarled and grim and undesired.  


It did not catch the eye of men,

Who sought a ripeness there and then.

Yet this one pledged a golden yield,

To all who ceased and turned and kneeled. 


For hanging lone across its form,

The Lord of Life enthroned in scorn,

Was off’ring all a bloodied balm,

With up-raised voice and out-stretched arm. 


Thus from the midst of cursèd death,

Is raised His call with rasping breath.

“Come every man, leave off your quest

Find life within my piercèd breast.” 


“He lies!” they shrieked through raging tears,

They scoffed and mocked with angry jeers.

What life could this cadaver give?

What guarantee that we shall live?” 


“Just this” He said with pity’s call,

“I’ve come direct from o’er the wall.

All bliss that moves your frenzied glee,

Such fountains first begin in Me.” 


At once they spluttered daft disdain,

“No wounded Man or tree of pain,

Will be our well or way of life.

We’re free! You pledge us only strife!” 


“Dear friends!” He pleas, “regard your plight,

Your freedom bonds you, blinds your sight.

Your wounds for self, for self are loss,

Come lose them in my wounded cross. 


“Your life is death, My death is gain,

Now trust the word of Paschal slain.

Come hide in Me through darkest night,

Soon heaven’s dawns shine fresh delight.” 


Just so His promise stands above

All men, inquiring which they love:

To seek the fruit and Him defy,

Or heed Life’s call to “Come and die!”


0 thoughts on “Poem: “Thorns”

  1. Missy

    enticing cadence...
    compelling crescendo...
    amazing imagery...
    and you've made use of some words I have never had the pleasure of finding a use for - always a bonus.

    Well done!

  2. glenscriv

    Thanks Missy,
    I think "effulgent" should make a come-back. Couldn't Texas Chilly do with a little 'effulgence' here and there? Let's get it back into circulation!

  3. Tim VB

    To think that an Australian could write like this! I was expecting something like:

    "Jesus is here - so be of good cheer;
    Light up the barbie and open a beer."

    Seriously Glen - the poem is amazing. This is a spiritual gift that needs exercising. Encore! Encore!

  4. Amanda

    Beautiful poem. I dabble in poetry here and there myself, but all my stuff is free verse, I don't know if I could write anything like that. And it wasn't just the sound and the way the words fit together, the words themselves, and their message and imagery of Christ and His cross, as well as the state of mortal man, was quite striking. Thank you for posting this.


  5. glenscriv

    There is a long (well for Australia it's long!) tradition of bush balladeers. Henry Lawson, Banjo Patterson, Norman Lindsay (made famous by terrible film 'Sirens') and don't forget Colin Buchanan! Of course the epic poems of an Australian's youth aren't so much Homer's Odyssee - but we do learn all about Mulga Bill's Bicycle! (driving cadences and tight knit rhymes are quite typically Australian. So your 'Jesus is here' fits the bill nicely. Well done yourself!)

    Amanda, Thanks for the encouragement. Glad you stopped by.

  6. kc

    Any critique on my part would only be a ruse to avoid my obvious lack of refinement but I know what I like and I like it!

  7. Pingback: The offence of illness « Christ the Truth

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