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Prodigal father

  • 31 May 2011

The stage

Every actor aspires to play the role of Jesus;if the part is taken, they will set their sights on the role of Judas.

–Damian Balassone

Doubting Thomas

Frankly, I could not bear to watch whatthey did to him — the whips, the insults,the hammering in of nails. So I snuck offhere, hopes shattered, to lick my wounds.

Now they beg me to go back to see him —surely something beyond belief. At leastmine. I'm a realist, not into sentiment orapparitions. There needs to be a body.

Today the clouds hang heavy with doubt.The others may be deluded. But if — and it'sa big if — I see him, touch actual wounds,then I will kneel before him, and adore.

–William Rush

The woman with the alabaster jar

She knew the lines of a man's backas well as she knew the tasteof decanted fig-wine, or the way the spinegirdered the back under her hand;an uneven scaffolding of flesh under fingers.It was a gentle gift, this. Acquired slowlyin the stones arranged on her mother's grave,in the deep vault of her hip against his.Dipping like water, she learnt to press libationsinto her hair — lavender, dill, coriander;   to twist strands against the frame.There was salvation in this. And Art too;that fingers still wet from mulberrycould etch a form of truth on the skin,like the rim of flung-coin, or theconsolation of Spring oranges and their spurting.

But the truth of them has been forgotten.His dirty feet and tired eyes, her hennaed-thighsin sandalwood and linen, how she swung her hips,how his loneliness was an atrium arching from his chestto the lip of the buttress; aching for her to unfurl her hair.

–Davina Allison

Easter Fire

1.my longingto share this meal with you —breadkneaded and firedin the company of friends

2.in the olive groveshouts and flaring torchesrupture the darkness —odd, the fear roused by a manwho seems so ordinary

3.faces firelithuddled against the coldcheeks burningwith shame I recall that nightI said I didn't know you

4.carrying sadnesslike ash from her cold hearthshe waits by his graveblinded by the rising sun —he calls her name

5.from the brazierin the darkened courtyardhands pass firegiving each shadow a familiar name

–Anne Benjamin

Prodigal father

All day,every daysince you have gone,I stand on the roadshading my eyesfrom daylight'sharsh reality— you are gone,too far awayfor me to see.How harshis your reality?Can you seea shadow of dusk,a portent of gloomwishing your spirithome?

All night,every nightsince you have gone,I've kept the light burning,warming my liquid eyesfrom night'scold comfort— you are gone,too far