Lenten Trilogy

By

Lent I

On Noah

In your dreams
you saw water and death.
In your days
you saw darkness and evil.
How far we have come
from the gates of paradise,
spewing a wretched trail in the wake,
vomiting the rotten fruit of our first sin.

And yet
how does this horror of water and blood
manage to be our sole salvation?
I run to the secret place and hide,
resolving to cling to the dark mystery of grace.

Lent II

On Malaysia flight 370

In a moment of horror
I cannot say how,
we plummeted through clouds
on bright wings broken,
cast into the deep
into the lowest darkness.

The eyes of men searched
to and fro,
in days and nights of weariness,
while I sank down
to the heart of the earth
to the black, cold soul of Sheol.

Out of the depths I cry to you
to the eyes that see
through dark or light,
raise me up from the shadow of death
on bright wings born from morning’s fire.

Lent III

On the Oso mudslide

In matter of moments
earth took them back,
though it takes us all
just much more slowly.

God formed man
out of the dust
and breathed into his nostrils
the breath of life.

The living search
for bodies in the mud
life in the dirt
like a desperate spring

Son of man,
can these bones live?

Sovereign Lord,
breath giver,
you alone know.

Chris currently teaches writing and literature to community college students in Massachusetts. He is the author of six books of poetry, and can probably be found reading a book, drinking chai, and wearing flannel. In 2018 he and his wife Jen co-founded The Poetry Pub, an online community for poets. He enjoys walking in the woods, hanging out in coffee shops, and poking around used bookstores.


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