Lent — Last words, guest poets Francis Morrissey and Todd Jenkins

During Lent I have been following the course of Mark’s gospel poetically and having my guest post on Sundays. Today — a final day of Lent — I want to share the writings of two very different poets about Lent, this season we have passed together. Francis Morrissey and Todd Jenkins, I am so grateful for your insight.

Mark 16 seems best for a reflection tomorrow.

Lent

A time of penitence and prayers.
Of promises that longer, warmer days
will soon awaken spring.

A time bridging the grey
of Ash Wednesday
and Easter’s Lumen Christi.

A time of early daffodils,
swelling buds,
and hints of greenery.

A time when hosts of peepers will emerge
from vernal pools
and chant with Bacchic urgency.

Francis Morrissey

Unholy Week

The adventuresome among us
would like to take a zip line
from the Triumphal Entry,
or maybe even from all the way back
at the mount of Transfiguration,
to the empty tomb.

The more acrophobic among us
would prefer an enclosed cable car
for the quick and easy journey.

But there is no such shortcut.

Lent is a journey we make,
year after year, not because
it’s fun or enjoyable,
or even because we want to,
but because we understand
that it’s the only way;

the only way to find ourselves
on the far side of crucifixion,
in the garden, staring
at the rolled-away stone
and the empty tomb,
incredulous as much because
of Jesus’ resurrection as because
we’ve been forgiven and freed.

Lent is the place where we go
to die, because we feel,
deep in our innards,
that dying is the only path
to being raised to new life.

Lent is the place and the time
when we prepare ourselves
to admit that we are not only
among the Unholy Week palm-wavers
shouting, “Ho-she-annah!
Save us NOW!”
but also among the angry crowd
shouting, “Crucify him!”

Lent is the journey.
Holy Week is upon us.
Now is the time.
Let us dare to claim
its courage.

This is a photo I took March 16, 2018, at Rocky Fork State Park, TN. writes Todd Jenkins. For more of Todd’s writing go to Tuesday’s Muse here

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