This video, with Ellyn Peirson’s poetry set to Stefano Lentini’s Stabat Mater is intended to bring Good Friday into your heart and home. It has been made without any kind of rehearsal and certainly not a dress rehearsal! You can join in by playing your volume tuner! Blessings to you all as we think of ourselves in the time of Covid19, Italy, because of our Italian connection and Stefano Lentini’s sublime Stabat Mater and the people all over the planet. Be well… and let your home protect you. The poetry is available for you to read below…
VOICES from the CRUCIFIXION
some voices from the crucifixion
~ for contemplation ~
The voice of A TODAY MADONNA
The voice of THE MADONNA
The voice of THE BETRAYER
The voice of THE CROSS
The voice of THE MADDALENA
The voice of THE ROMAN CENTURION
The voice A TODAY MADONNA – Monica
newly bereft, she passes the scratched grocery store buckets,
deceptive sophistication, yellow tulips
reach out – immortalize me, all ye who
labour and I will give you rest for your
soul. you yearn, too – from where you’ve been
placed, your own
bucket. desire and empty
ness collide –
was that her dead son’s voice? –
immortalize me. forever make me
yours and I will give you rest. reciprocity, the recip
rocity of beauty and heavy-laden
how will you keep my
greens in myriad shades and not let
them droop and fall flat against some glass
vase – perhaps lalique, translucent green with
dancing goddesses pressed in and running
over – no cutting and vases, give the resurrected soil
and how will you notice and nourish
my yellow petals, kissed with
the red of God’s lips? will you
hear Haydn playing his sonata no. 29 in the back
ground – so sadly light and airy, the chaconne of
the yellow tulip red-tinged, tulipred, crimsonred. chaconne of the son’s
blood, second Isaac.
for it is
now Lent. and I am but
another Christ to be slain… this is my body, this is
my blood given, my tulipblood, for you. take
and see that i am another sacrifice. you stare and
wonder (others have been
crueler) – will you buy a few palm branches perhaps
for effect, that table possibly or a window…
take me into your heart, paint me into
canvas for a generation to say, my mother painted that lovely
little still life (still, still with me when purple breaks)… she had a
nice talent… that’s why I keep it, keep it, hosanna hosanna, green
grow the palm trees, oh!
the grieving mother bends and see souls… open
up, take me in, understand this lent is for you, this greater love is
because of you. she
steps back and opens her designer bag.
digitalclick. Lent downloaded. she goes on her palm-branch strewn hosanna way.
she leaves with another opening to
he calls out – see me in the resurrection that is coming – and i will come again in
the new bursting and melodious garden where red buds
sing and birds, green and purple, write music for all who are
heavy-laden… yellow symphonies and violet nocturnes to be
played wherever spring creates its perpetual in
beside that large impalpably pulsating
stone, moved, i am
this time only the sunbeams
for radiation in the holy
the voice of THE MADONNA – Claudia
How am I to approach this walk with you? How am I to bear it?
You ask too much of me.
I will not, cannot let this happen.
… I will not walk into your death …
Am I, who laboured fiercely to give you life, now
required to labour impossibly… cruelly… to let you die? No!
No! This was not the promise of conception—the reason for my song. I
sang of the magnified heart, the praising heart, and, oh, the loving
Do you remember our shared songs?
You see, I cannot walk into your death … it is too early,
senseless, purposeless. Oh, my son, my joy,
unkindness has weighed you
down. Where is the kindness to lift you up.
There is none, dearheart, in Pilate’s corruption.
Let me protect you and sing to you.
Let Passover pass!
Please! Do not speak through your eyes to
me. I cannot bear what you say.
I cannot walk into your death.
I will but follow you wherever you go.
You ask too much of me.
The voice of THE BETRAYER – Henry
It’s gotten out of hand
dear God, I didn’t mean for it to go this far astray
I pray, I do, I pray
as you did last night, take this from me, this role that is not me, forced on me
until I am judged for eternity and no one knows me
Dear Lord, my Lord—I’m driven by love for you—no more, no less but
more my Lord… more, more than all of the others, I love you more,
enough to force your hand, bring you into
Force all of them—Lord, the haters, the hypocrites—force them to see
you, fall down worship—oh, take your kingship, my Lord… take, take
It’s gotten out of hand,
for thirty pieces.
That was not the point—dear Lord, my Lord—you were the point.
Messiah—we’ve waited so long and I know, I know
who you are—more than anyone, I know
the prince of peace—but no!—of power not peace, thirty
peaces of power I don’t want them; I did it for you—
That’s all, my Lord—for you
Could you not stay with me—with me—your twinned soul,
Our souls overwhelmed with sorrow,
could you not stay
with me? oh, my Lord, take this cup from me!
pressed from sweat – blood money.
and I am seen
for eternity as the one who
did not love You!
did not love you? dear God,
I’ve loved and known you more than the others –
given up my place beside you to force others
And so, as it is written—and not written
understood and never understood, known, breathed, loved and—
that is my penalty, judgment, death unknown in my love,
I am every man, every woman
for whom you die.
We die — you and I — Saviour and sinner.
So comes your betrayer, lover, on feet bound in
the swaddling clothes of destiny, the seamless robe
of your mother’s love, she who knows me and
yet leaves me to my task
and when I join you—when you die for me as I
die, die, die and am judged for eternity, am swallowed up
in death… remember me when you come into your kingdom
as every man and every woman
we have all done this, Lord, not only I
not only I
the hour is near
dear God, my God and Saviour,
the hour is at hand
remember me, remember me
it’s gotten out of hand
the voice of THE CROSS – Daniel
After my millennium of waiting, yearning, desiring to
know my destiny
so that I could enter it
fulfill it, be fulfilled—
I approach you through my death—
So that you may die here—
fallen free-falling into hell and back, follying—death-free; bonds-free.
I see, I feel
the blows, the pounding nails driven-riven
the very hands, minds, hearts
for which you approach me. willingly.
and I will cradle you. soften the blows, absorb the blood—
drink it if I must, I rootless now—
and accept your surrender
as you are torn in two from top to
and wombkind is restored, forgiven, unriven
immersed in crimson reconciliation. immaculate now in your extinguished light
and i am but Golgothan firewood
having known you
dead while you bear
the world’s weight
the voice of THE MADDALENA – Theo
Dare I approach you who approach me?
the stones scorching coals beneath my feet, searing me boneward approach me! oh, pick me up and burn me homeward
salve rex, save me… disregard my early indifference
so of carpenter, son of god almighty father, carpenter, great first-created –
worker of all things wooden
carving souls, craving souls
your eyes probe, pierce – until healing, salty waters gush…
your blood spills oh wash me, should I wash your feet again?
Those crushed feet, pinned together by one nail…
dear Father, save your Son!
it matters not in this timeless approach
to eternity that you are probed, pierced, pinned up for display
no! – let your hands whittle and shape, smooth my approaching soul –
never have I been so known –
pluck and crush the purple olive, purple grape
they hold eternity in their skins. anoint – press your wine and oil into my petition – my forehead, palms are charred… black with the burning
I healed, you stigmatized.
I whole, you broken oh, let me anoint you again, oh, let me pour spikenard until none is left on earth, and you are my alabaster vessel
rough ground now pooled with blood and my shaped-soul draws back aghast
I hear distant thuds – nails pounded pounded pounded
until my head splits, chest crushes
wooden beams too much for me to bear
yet… you bear the wood you love – what medium have you left? the wood you love killing you. you heaving it – it cleaving you
the hill of dancing skeletons appears and you fall again – another lifts your crossbeam
you smile weakly.
wipe the blood from your neck, your mother cries out – oh, my son, my son you turn to her, you inhabit each other’s eyes.
the wood you love will hold you up naked, crowned, shattered splattered against the heavens
and I wait,
breathless, for you were my breath for that brief time I believed, and loved. am I now to let you agonize, harden my heart into rock? so that you can be framed, painted, idolized, idolatrized and held against the purple and crimson sky until with one great gasp, you die.
you lift me into the fractured heavens and as you empty, you forgive
and I live for I inspire as you expire into me your perfect passion – artist, medium and lover
And I shall wash your feet, dear friend of all weeping women—
Salome, Joanna and Mary and Mary – myrhhbearers.
We, eyewitnesses, silenced now, free now
broken bent, shattered crushed like my heart again
Mary? – Henry’s voice
At the third hour
Jesus cried out
for the second time in
a loud voice,
And then he released his spirit.
At that moment
the curtain of the temple in Jerusalem
was torn in two from top to bottom.
The earth shook, the rocks split in a
cacaphony of sound and fragments
such as had never been heard before by
many ran screaming and some fell on the ground as
though it could protect.
And it was over.
prophet to the Centurion – Ben
At noon, darkness fell over the world –
a cool, quiet, creeping darkness until
the mockers made fun of Jesus
and broke into the obscurity –
If you’re the King of the Jews
then save us from the Romans…
And the darkness covered every
one and everything
until the third hour…
The voice of THE ROMAN CENTURION – Dave
it was just another bloody, bone-crushing
of Skull Hill’s pre-Passover executions. Who knew
there were so many
manifestations of pain and
dying? Except for this one…
this one… this quiet Galilean, mocked by
his own and my own.
Laughed at. Taunted. Forced to wear a crown of
thorns so that by
the time I saw him, little
rivulets of blood had found their
his eyes and down his cheeks into
the corners of his mouth.
And all he complained about…
the centurion was overcome and lay
down on a robe he had been carrying.
He gathered his thoughts from
the dust. And from
inside his head, he
called out to his gods…
all he complained about was to quietly catch my
attention. I thirst,
he said. Two words – two words –
and never have I
been so completely
known. Wrapped in a smile
of love and compassion –
for me. They called it all his
He stood and threw the robe around his
shoulders. The Jew’s mother had woven it for her son with
Time’s needles and Love’s yarns. And now it is mine – mine!
One exquisite piece, won fairly with the dice.
Why do I feel so frightened, then? What is the shadow I
feel? There were voices immediately before the earthquake, voices of
shock and pacification – the Jew spoke to one of the thieves,
and the temple veil was rent and heaven and earth shook.
He’d called out in agony, not of pain, but of utter, obscure desolation:
“My God! My God! Abba! Father! Why have you forsaken me?” He screamed it –
“Eli Eli lama sabachthani?” – until it circled his thorny crown and met itself, becoming
complete. Had he gathered all the voices outside the wall into
Had the earthquake shuddered in behind his scream that split the veil.?
willed the absolute oblivion of all commotion?
created pure stillness?
What was the old psalm? Ah yes…
“be still and know that I am God.”
Had he brought God to earth?
By Jupiter, the quietness after was dense. And yet a clarity was mine –
I would help his uncle Joseph, of Arimathea, take the body to his grave.
Surely this man was the Son of God.