Ash Wednesday, February 14, 2018
I’ve loved listening to performers who memorize Mark, living all the roles in one evening. I’ve heard three — Alec McCowan, Paula Thigpen and Bert Marshall — each time in Lent. So this Lent I will take my own one-poet journey through this shortest, this oldest, this wild, abrupt, least acceptable gospel.
Reading the gospel of Mark in Lent Mark 1:1
Mark is sketchy
with all the jazz of spring,
ash or pink paper hearts —
no birth, no time taken to explain
the background to Greeks
or proof-text anything for Jews.
Mark rakes up apocalyptic bewares,
and the prayer of record,
forgets to explain parables,
slaps the transfiguration
shows us how stupid and naked
a disciple can be.
It’s just gospel — rising up
like maple sap in the trees,
like a wind full of kites,pressing through,
spearing earth like crocus or cold rain,
written in haste,
making us run for our lives.