Good Friday

Two quite different pieces of poetry and a painting to contemplate

In My Beginning, My End

Was there

even at that moment

 as you entered the world you had made

a shadow of the death to come.

As your young lungs gasped for air


that so also would be your last breath

struggling for life in a suffocating body.

And in that cry-

for all babies cry when they leave the security of their mother’s womb-

an echo of another

as you were


by your Father

to a cruel world’s murderous intent.

And later

when they laid you in a borrowed manger

swaddled, as in grave cloth

 did your yet unfocused eyes

see the myrrh

lying on the stable floor.

From the Dream of the Rood

” ……I saw the Lord of Hosts

Outstretched in agony, darkness had covered with clouds

the corpse of the world’s ruler

the bright day was darkened by a deep shadow

all its colours clouded; all creation wept

keened for its King’s fall; Christ was on the rood.”

The Dream of the Rood is one of the earliest Christian poems and in the genre of dream poetry. Rood is from the Old English word rod ‘pole’, or more specifically ‘crucifix’. A part of The Dream of the Rood can be found on the 8th century Ruthwell Cross.

In My Beginning anon

Christ on the Cross 1632 Diego Velazquez