And I shall make crosses all my life,
so the messiahs you choose can be crucified!
– The Last Temptation Of Christ
O, full of scorpions is my mind…
Through the cold expanse of the night-tinged dawn
o’er-laying the horizon, bleak it sailed –
an utt’rance ‘leased from the hillock forlorn.
Forsaked ‘n unforgiven sons impaled
across Golgolta… There the jackals grouped,
with mange ‘n rabid salivation bless’d.
The ashen vulture – legion – flit ‘n swooped
in silence, foreign blood upon its breast.
The ribs of the earth cracked its blistered skin.
Fire-flame burst earthward as the crows did sing.
Yesh’wa, his curled locks dishevelled ‘n damp,
looked t’ward the heavens where the Morning Star
delighted in the banishing of night,
its cold ignorance seared by fruitful light.
He braced his eyes, his shadow reaching far.
The vulture circled ‘n the jackals champed.
About him, left ‘n right, the sentenced writhed
in throes of lament. In his hands, the nails
weighed heavy ‘pon his bloodied, calloused hide-
like palms, belaboured by tort’rous travails.
Reaching for his tools in their tattered belt,
he hauled them upward ‘n shouldered their weight.
The rage-gilt, guilt-adorned ag’ny he felt
he bore like scorp’yun stings about his pate.
A crossmaker – Yesh’wa constructed th’means
by which the legion stamped impeer’yul boots
on his own people, as he scorned those scenes
which Adonai insisted would be truth.
Yet e’er the visions came! With each, God swore:
“Thou shalt be rid of me, child, nevermore!”
In carpentry he felt his deepest roots –
he had, from birth, known well that sawdust scent
as, near his crib, his father Yossef bent
over his woodwork amidst heaped offshoots.
Yet Yossef had ne’er built things of such pain
as these instruments of the inhumane…
As Yesh’wa turned to leave the crucified,
their roped-up arms dislocated inside,
he glimpsed the jackals jump; the birds descend.
‘Pon feetless ankles fell discarded eyes.
T’where mother Mariam awaited – shamed
by how her son aided the Roman cause –
he headed now, his sandals breaching sores
that had just started to their skin reclaim.
T’where th’other Mariam awaited – laid
out bangled, perfumed, spread, ‘n drooled upon –
he wished he headed, were he not afraid…
Her skin’s soft burning ‘n her mouth’s soft song…
His chest was torn asunder; pulled apart.
His sternum cracked to pierce his beating heart.
“Betrayer!” (Hurled by one of th’gathered jews
who’d stepped away from the semitic throng.)
“Yesh’wa! Why have you forsaken us? Who’s
your god if not ours?!” Iskarioth longed
for a messiah who’d repel those stakes,
cast off that binding rope, ‘n burn those beams
to embers! Who’d end Rome’s unending rape
‘n give his people that which e’er still seemed
a future farther off with each day’s pass:
Heaven’s Kingdom from out heretic ash.
“Yehu’da… come.” The rabbi’s calming voice
brought the man back. Yesh’wa continued on
the stony path, without a fork for choice
nor crossroads s’that he might deviate from
this sloped descent to where his workshop stood
with shelves of tools ‘n stacks of rough-cut wood.
Yochan’an… Brother, where do you roam now?
For whom do you perform your cleansing rite?
Much more than me are you a prophet – how
could God have fixed on me his hellish sight?
He passed a stretch at which, at either side,
stood, watching both each other ‘n the man,
a rebel ‘n a monarch. Fierce, their eyes
tracked Yesh’wa’s steps along their best laid plans.
One watched with admiration, rev’ling in
this brave defiance of the monarch’s game.
One watched contemptuously, hating him
who’d not submit; who could endure such pain.
As Satan sneered with spite, God spat ‘n scoffed:
“He’ll bow his head to me upon the cross!”
Krystos; Masheekah; The Anointed One –
a king b’yond th’glory e’en of Da’hveed’s time…
Awaited long was he, the Risen Son:
Of Man? Or God? Hostage to Da’hveed’s line…
Each step he took toward the waking town –
the furnace flames stoked for to bake new bread –
were steps made heavy by the plaited crown
of twisted turmoil fixed upon his head.
The sun rose higher as the son walked home –
shunned; denied; cast out – to face God alone…
Image credit – Vereshchagin