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On the way to Golgotha


Desolate landscape with three crosses 














Second coming

There are new signs and wonders:
It is a sign, indeed, that complicities without number
Might be contained within a single nod,
And a wonder that so much slyness
Might brood within the single dimming of a wink;
For now, in the civilian alchemies of this second coming,
We are called to choose the dark yeast
That does not so much rise, as ooze and infiltrate;
And if we must sow,
We must sow in whispers, now,
In malignant fields;
And if we must reap,
Then we must reap in the certainties of scorn.
And when we are called to choose,
We must choose our neighbours coldly,
Nurse our denials close,
And keep assiduous lists
Of those we most prosperously revile.
For now, the chilling shadow of the salamander
Has crossed the threshold of our hearts:
We live in a time,
When Jesus, prophet, saviour,
Refuses, we are assured, to say yes to everybody.

Grant Fraser


Beyond Golgotha


A path of varicose roots
rising from sodden ground
showed the way to a rock
placed upon a rock a face
with random nails stuck
like a half-crown of thorns
in the roughly groomed clay
The eyes stared out from bulbous sacs
the mouth downturned
like any mouth on any face
on the way to Golgotha


And there
I saw a solitary bee,
with stripes on his back,
limping like a light plane landing
fumbling to retreat to the anthole
where the dirt was pushed away
No spices no scents
He was gone Perhaps for good
I waited


he stumbled from the dark
drunken in the light
He regained himself;
rose up as it were.
And I was frightened
that he might choose me
as a resting place.

Marlene Marburg



Sometimes each thing has its given moment — water
     limber from my kitchen tap — almost the whole sumptuous sense of it.

Now that praise is a remedy so praised, I'm drawn
     not to a simple hymn but Hopkins and gash gold-vermillion, and the words

he chose in fear his faith had fled on dark wings;
     words held dear, energised by nothing more than planetary spin.

Steve Armstrong



Navy blue sky
Heavy with promise of rain
Still and velvety on this autumn evening
Bewitches me
Soft pillows welcome me early to bed
A good book to end this blessed Easter Day
And then, as if in final benediction
The smell, the sound, of promise fulfilled
The earth and I grateful for the blessing

Margaret Quigley


Grant FraserGrant Fraser is a lawyer, poet and filmmaker. 


Marlene MarburgMarlene Marburg PhD is a spiritual director and formator at Sentir Graduate College of Spiritual Formation (University of Divinity). 


Steve ArmstrongSteve Armstrong is a psychotherapist. He writes poetry based on his relationship to urban environments and the still wild where he finds it. 

Margaret QuigleyMargaret Quigley is a mother of two and a grandmother of five, who lives by the sea in southern NSW. She draws inspiration for her poetry from the beauty and wonder of her natural surroundings.

Golgotha image from Shutterstock

Topic tags: poetry, Grant Fraser, Marlene Marburg, Margaret Quigley



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Existing comments

Congratulations, Margaret Quigley. I too live by the sea on the south coast of NSW. And have sometimes experienced similar moments of tranquility and contentment but have not been able to convey them so simply and concisely in words. I hope to read more of your poetry in the years ahead.

Uncle Pat | 15 April 2014  

Thank you for the poem Margaret. I too spend my time walking on the beach and am inspired by it. I enjoy ed your words

Colleen Keating | 20 April 2015  

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