Poems, reflections and an Easter inspired story, from the members of the Q Writers' Group.
Easter is the echo . . .
Amidst the tossed and lemoned pancakes,
Easter is the echo of the voice
which taught that we must love our enemies.
Amidst the simnel fruit cake, and the marzipan,
Easter is the echo of the voice
that taught us to take care on how we judge,
lest we be judged by those same measures.
Amidst the boxed and foil wrapped choc'late eggs
Easter is the echo of the voice
which said that those amongst us who have done
no wrong may throw the first stone.
Amidst the spiced and fruit specked hot cross buns
I hear the echo of the voice that said,
'Forgive them for they know not what they do.'
My Easter is the echo of a voice
that said,'Unless you have the innocence
and wonder of a child you will not see
into the depth of life of which I speak.'
And so, just like a child, my Easter is
a time that I enjoy the symbols of
a bursting, try again, new start. I like
new starts and will, with choc'late melting on
my tongue and round my mouth, try harder to
think kindly of my enemies, to love,
and to forgive.
A 21st Century ResurrectionAs soon as I saw him it all came back to me, like a slap in the face, a kick in the teeth and a knife in the side. Hope's lead nearly slipped from my hand, and I had to tug hard to stop her scampering off.
The lad was sat shivering in the darkened doorway, a blanket over his crossed legs, his dog asleep next to the grubby cap holding a handful of silver coins, tossed in by one in fifty passers by. I knew, from my own years of painful experience, that while his heart was beating, his eyes were unseeing and his soul was lifeless. His grimy fingers were wrapped around the cardboard mug of tea. Their warmth was giving him some proof that he was not, yet, certifiably, physically dead.
I instantly remembered my life in doorway bashes. Fridays were the best days on a pitch. The commuters hurrying home from the office or the after work drink or two were often generous. Inhibitions about giving hard earned money away were lessened, perhaps by the general end of the working week euphoria or the beer and bonhomie of a drinking session.
Saturdays were mixed, the youngsters were out shopping, hanging out or sometimes making mischief. For some, when evening came, giving the wino a bit of a kicking was 'a larf'. But others stopped and offered a kindly word, and sometimes a sausage roll from Greggs and a cup of tea. The thoughtful ones gave you a few packets of sugar and even some ketchup and brown sauce in those sachets that were so bloody difficult to open with frozen fingers.
Now Sundays, they were the worst days. No one ever stopped to talk to you or drop a coin in the hat. Too busy hurrying to church, or a bit later to their nice warm homes, or to lunch out with family and friends. You're invisible on Sundays.
Then I remembered my weird weekend in March, five years ago now. Really weird that was. I'd been totally out of it, wasted I was. Then I got a real bad beating on the Friday evening. Some joker had stabbed me in my side too. In A&E, I heard later, they patched me up, left me in the bed, expecting me to go 'brown bread', they'd written me off for good this time. I reckon they'd just got bored with me, always referring me to the shrinks and drug and alcohol lot and then seeing me back again just as bad a couple of days later. Once the paramedic had joked about getting me a 'DNR' tattoo on my forehead. "Do not resuscitate." I pretended to laugh along with the others when he said it, but that thing about 'many a true word being spoken in jest' made me think the worst.
Anyway I laid there alone, all Saturday, much more dead than alive, unconscious, comatose. If I had any relatives that still cared about me, they would have been called to my bedside.The Sunday was weird, seriously weird, totally indescribably weird, just 100% inexplicable. I woke with a start. You know that way, when you have that sudden falling feeling? I had a nurse beside me. She said her name was Hope. She stood by my bed, leaning over me. She wiped my forehead, gently wetted my lips, gave me a wonderfully delicious sweet, smooth warm drink, and then she soothed those sore cuts in my side. Then she took all the drips, pipes, needles and stuff off me and helped me stand up. So gentle yet real strong she was. Then she rolled away the screens.
The next thing I knew 'world war war three' broke out in the ward. The crash team arrived, everyone was shouting and calling for help. They were wrestling me back to the bed and trying to inject me and everything. I tried to tell them all about Hope, but they just kept telling me "There's no hope here".
That was the big turning point for me. They discharged me, confused about my unexpected recovery. "It's a medical miracle" the doc said. I haven't been back there since. That time somehow I just stuck to the rehab plan, got in to selling the 'Big Issue' and then even got a little place of my own. Then after a year or so off the sauce I landed a job and got myself the mutt, I call her 'Hope'.
Looking back at the lad, I shook myself in to the present and chucked a quid in to his cap. Hope and I walked off, she was pulling me a bit.
The first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox
We are still loosely tied to natural rhythms:
gardeners plant by the waxing moon
and midwives predict births at the full.
The pagan’s lunar calendar added the warmer sun
at equal nights and days in spring
and called it Eastertide.
The next big philosophy hijacked the name
moved it on a bit, made it the same
rite of renewal.
Now the moneymen would anchor
this moveable feast to one date:
a true bank holiday.
I know that my redeemer liveth
In each of us he will forgiveth
My silly thoughts that are a sin
To try and make you all force a grin
Christ died a most horrible death
And rose again so he could stress
Love one another and always forgive
Reconciliation is the best way to live.
Like every Easter bunny you see hopping
The shop keepers turn religion into shopping
Money buys our daily bread and some want jam
They soon forget that holy lamb
Of God who lives in us all and waits for us hear
And not just in times of grief and fear.
How does that make you feel?
Season of spring and religious sacrament
Symbols leach one to the other
Crosses in a spring garden, eggs in a tomb
God of creation and abundance
The earth goes down and the suns rays more acute
enter and warm my body
as once an angelic laser entered her heart
and there she stored its message
where later it was joined with his leaving words
Easter, a time and a season
Do I remember, do I know joy?