THE FEAST OF ST. JOHN

THE FEAST OF ST. JOHN

 

 

. . . which I will not keep

for the evangelist.

Not for the eagle looking 

down on the world

his Jesus saves with secrets.

My Jesus looks me in the eye.

He doesn’t tell me who he is,

over and over again.

He tells me who I am,

as he told, I like to think,

that sweet boy—

that fisherman who couldn’t

write in Greek—

who left his father’s boat

and followed him.

 

ADVENT, 16

ADVENT

 

16.

   ~John 11

 

Why did he weep?

 

There is a calculation here:

Wait till the corpse stinks.

It is never too late

for the elect to be raised

if they are properly wrapped,

if they’ve waited in solitude and dark

long enough to know their fear,

if they have been properly mourned.

 

But why did you let him weep?

 

And that curious prophecy

from the high priest’s mouth—

he was blind, I suppose,

but speaking from second sight

and not of himself

but of God’s chosen children.

This I understand.

 

But why, John Gosepeller,

did you make your Jesus weep?

ADVENT, 15

ADVENT

 

15.

    ~John 10

 

One flock, O yes. 

(I’m trying.)

You must bring them in.

Yes.

They will hear your call.

They will know your voice.

And how will they know?

 

Lambs learn their mothers’ voices

while still curled in the womb.

Once I saw a ewe

close to giving birth,

talking softly to her lamb.

(I’m trying.)

My father’s sheep came

only to him.

Once upon a time,

I found this a comfort. 

 

But now, John Gospeller, 

now I see:

this gate swings 

on predestination’s hinges.

One more door

closed to the many,

open only to the elect.

(I tried.)

ADVENT, 14

ADVENT

 

14.

     ~John 9

 

 

O, I see! I see!

You were cast out,

weren’t you?

Washed your eyes

in the Siloam Pool

proclaimed:

whereas I was blind,

now I see.

 

Your people,

even parents,

turned their backs

on you,

denied you,

you with your new-

opened eyes.

 

Of course you must

have contempt for 

for what you left,

what you lost.

on this strange 

and lonely way

 

Two thousand years 

away from you,

maybe I can see 

your sneer 

as the fear 

that once it was.

ADVENT, 9

ADVENT

 

9.

       ~John 5

 

Move away from what you know.

Can you?

Bread and wine,

comfortable and magical words,

candles, flowers,

Victorian hymnody,

linens arranged just so.

Just so.

Walk away 

from stained glass,

stone towers, bells.

Stop being helpless.

Today is the holiest of days.

Stir the waters 

in the pool of mercy.

Be a burning light