Sunrise Service

Poet's Corner 001

Sunrise Service


Barbarians within the gates

Wait patiently their chance to pounce,

While loyalties and loves and hates

And blind allegiances announce

With urgent importunity

The time to poise on razor-edge

And seize the opportunity

Along the teetering temple-ledge.


While in at that same portal rides

Astride the gentle burden-beast

The king of beasts and all besides

Towards the sacrificial feast.

Now blood and horn and burning flesh

Upon the altar crimp and broil,   

Burn and bubble through the mesh

Of firepan and brazen coil.


The darkness falls; a cry rings out.

Then just as soon the shout falls still.

And in the next the rabble rout

Goes driving up the hollow hill,

The cross before, the mob behind,

A knife concealed in every boot.

A veil on every face, the blind

Rush blindly to the judgment-moot.


One hangs there between earth and sky;

A great black thumb blots out the sun. 

Rocks split and tumble.  Day’s bright eye

Is swallowed up.  Cold rivers run

And steam through cracked and crumbled stone.

The dead come forth and go abroad – 

Joint on joint, and bone to bone,

Skin on sinew, flesh and blood.


The tomb is sealed.  The darkness covers

Weary watchers watching hours

Come and go; corruption hovers

In the air like threatening showers.

All gladness gone, all joy lies crushed

Like trodden grass.  All life is done.

But then, as all the world lies hushed,

Hope springs afresh with morning’s sun.


 Star 001

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