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Lazarus at our gate (Easter poems)

Bill Rush, Marlene Marburg, Maureen O'Brien, John Cranmer |  21 March 2016


From the Gospel of Cleophas

It was a conversation we didn't want to end.
Feet and hands washed, we talked as
lamps were lit.

Bread and salted fish never tasted better;
the wine sweet as any from Herod's cellar.
It was a meal we didn't want to end.

After a prayer he lifted up the loaf,
tore it in two as if it were his own body
broken in Jerusalem.

Our slow hearts quickened;
mouths mute in recognition.
We did not want this meal to end.

Jesus, our host, then and always.

— Bill Rush

Behold the lamb

Behold the lamb,
woolly around the heart,
milk for the soul,
and gambolling spirit.
Behold the lamb
treading grain dutifully
in furrowed fields.
Behold the lamb,
obedient, docile and meek,
bewildered on crags,
alone in the desert. Lost.
Behold the hesitant lamb
homeless in Jerusalem,
crouching in Gethsemane.
Abused lamb slaughtered
without a bleat
without a sound.

Behold the lamb
whose silence in my heart says —
Come and see.
Come, become
the lion and the lamb.

— Marlene Marburg

Lazarus at our gate

The rich man was preoccupied.
Busy in his own way,
what with household affairs
and choosing the best linens for his suits,
appearance matter to him,
and organising the dinners,
endless dinners with friends and colleagues.
Fun of course, but important matters
to discuss too.
The drinks bill was astronomical,
but his purse was large
and he was generous,
while still acting responsibly.
To be fair, he wasn't a leaner,
he was one of the lifters.
Helped to keep the country running,
so to speak,
and speak he did
often, on many topics.
He was a leader,
and felt justified when others,
in the region,
followed his lead.
It wasn't that he didn't see
but more that he
saw him differently.
Break the rules,
help one starving beggar
and before you know it
there will be a flood of them
on your door step.
That's how he argued
and plenty agreed.
Judgement day was a long way off.

— Maureen O'Brien

A Blessing for Easter Ongoing

May each coming of a new day
Greet you with inner light
Full of colour and joy
Immersing your eyes and your soul
With new awareness of what it means
To be alive

6th April 2015

— John Cranmer



Grant FraserBill Rush is a Melbourne poet whose third book, Into the World's Light, was published by interactive Press in 2013.

Marlene MarburgDr Marlene Marburg PhD is a director of Kardia Formation in Hawthorn. She is a spiritual director, formator and poet. She has two poetry collections Grace Undone: Love and Grace Undone: Passion.

Rory HarrisMaureen O'Brien did research and writing for the Penguin reference book Chronicle of Australia.

John CranmerA resident alien from South Australia in semi-hiding in Melbourne's outer east, John Crammer makes a profession of being grandparent and recycled Uniting Church Minister.


Bill Rush, Marlene Marburg, Maureen O'Brien, John Cranmer

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Submitted comments

Thank you for these poems. I especially appreciate Maureen O'Brien's "Lazarus at our gate".

Janet 22 March 2016

Such a stirring of the heart and Soul! Beautiful,just Beautiful!

MYRTLE 22 March 2016

Keep up the poetry....the true voice of the soul! I particularly enjoyed 'Lazarus at our gate' and a 'Blessing for Easter ongoing' but all spoke to me.

Rosemary Livingstone 25 March 2016

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