Solitude Poems: 34 / 500

Before An Old Painting Of The Crucifixion

Rating: 3.3

I ponder how He died, despairing once.
I've heard the cry subside in vacant skies,
In clearings where no other was. Despair,
Which, in the vibrant wake of utterance,
Resides in desolate calm, preoccupies,
Though it is still. There is no solace there.

That calm inhabits wilderness, the sea,
And where no peace inheres but solitude;
Near death it most impends. It was for Him,
Absurd and public in His agony,
Inscrutably itself, nor misconstrued,
Nor metaphrased in art or pseudonym:

A vague contagion. Old, the mural fades...
Reminded of the fainter sea I scanned,
I recollect: How mute in constancy!
I could not leave the wall of palisades
Till cormorants returned my eyes on land.
The mural but implies eternity:

Not death, but silence after death is change.
Judean hills, the endless afternoon,
The farther groves and arbors seasonless
But fix the mind within the moment's range.
Where evening would obscure our sorrow soon,
There shines too much a sterile loveliness.

No imprecisions of commingled shade,
No shimmering deceptions of the sun,
Herein no semblances remark the cold
Unhindered swell of time, for time is stayed.
The Passion wanes into oblivion,
And time and timelessness confuse, I'm told.

These centuries removed from either fact
Have lain upon the critical expanse
And been of little consequence. The void
Is calendared in stone; the human act,
Outrageous, is in vain. The hours advance
Like flecks of foam borne landward and destroyed.

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COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Michael Gale 08 November 2006

Great poem. God bless all poets-MJG.

15 1 Reply
Seema Jayaraman 05 November 2015

highly intriguing and very intense, overlay of death.. musings very complex, am saving this for a re-read.. thanks for sharing.

3 0 Reply
M Asim Nehal 05 November 2015

Life and death are two sides of same coin...

3 0 Reply
Angelina Holmes 06 May 2014

I love your rhyme scheme. Very clever.

3 0 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 05 November 2015

Death is part of us. Nice work.

2 0 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 11 December 2019

Not death, but silence after death is change. Judean hills, the endless afternoon, The farther groves and arbors seasonless But fix the mind within the moment's range. Where evening would obscure our sorrow soon, There shines too much a sterile loveliness. a beautiful portrayal of the LOrd's crucifixion. tony

0 0 Reply
Hebert Logerie Sr. 18 September 2019

The poet never writes in vain, even when he's in pain. The poet tells it is like it is, with tremendous ease. " The void Is calendared in stone; the human act, Outrageous, is in vain. " , said Navarre Scott Momaday.

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Kumarmani Mahakul 18 September 2019

The void Is calendared in stone; the human act, Outrageous, is in vain. The hours advance Like flecks of foam borne landward and destroyed........impressive. Beautiful poem deserved of POD.

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Uche Nwanze 18 September 2019

'Not death, but silence after death is change' Beautifully crafted poem deserving of POD

0 0 Reply
Uche Nwanze 18 September 2019

'Not death but silence after death is change'. A beautifully crafted poem deserving of POD

0 0 Reply