The Nature of Easter (a series of haiku)

The month of April is national poetry month and also when Easter generally falls. This year I wrote a set of haiku that primarily focused on the final week of Jesus’ life. The haiku is an unrhymed poetic form originating in Japan. In English it typically consists of 17 syllables arranged in a 5-7-5 pattern over three lines. The form generally uses nature as a topic and seeks to suggest ideas through contrast and double meaning.

Thirst sends one walking
More than some water is sought
From an ancient well

A straight path ahead
Branches waving wildly
There’s no turning back

A fruitless fig tree
Expectations are not met
It withers and dies

Lilies dot the field
Tranquility is shattered
White is colored red

A seed is planted
Earth holds what it can’t contain
From death comes much fruit

A buried seed sprouts
Sown it bursts forth in new life
Birds shall rest in shade

Sunlight breaks the dark
On a rock a dove alights
A new day has dawned

White as Snow

It is National Poetry Month, so I thought I would share some poems. This one was written last year during Easter. It uses an Arabic poetic form known as the ghazal.

White lilies cover the field as blanketing snow.
The women walk softly, silent as falling snow.

The rock that once covered the gate is set aside.
A figure comes forth bright as the glistening snow.

Fear not, the one you are looking for is not here.
The serpent’s plan is ruined, as dirt marring snow.

For into the pit, the grave swallowed a lion.
He endured death’s coldness that numbs as stinging snow.

The dead one now lives with eyes blazing like fire.
Hard hearts start to soften as the heat melting snow.

The Ancient One gives Him both glory and power
And praises roar as winds in a blizzarding snow

Jesus Speaks to Ears that Hear (villanelle)

Tuesday was World Poetry Day, so I challenged myself to capture some of Jesus’ teachings in in the style of a villanelle.

Sermon of the Beatitudes
 James Tissot, c. 1890

If you have ears to hear, then hear
You are my salt and shining light
Yield not to temptation nor fear

Repent for the kingdom is near
Walk the path that’s not wide but tight
If you have ears to hear, then hear

Store treasures in heaven not here
A choice that requires foresight
Yield not to temptation nor fear

Do not hide beneath a veneer
The pure in heart give me delight
If you have ears to hear, then hear

High is the cost to follow near
But my yoke and burden are light
Yield not to temptation nor fear

Faith you must keep till I appear
Take hold of life, fight the good fight
If you have ears to hear, then hear
Yield not to temptation nor fear