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POEM BY TODD SWIFT, EASTER SATURDAY

MYSTERIUM PASCHALE

It happens like this
in writing, a man
is brought to a hill to be raised
to die in spring

so that God's will
be done. Never kill alone,
use Romans when you can,
and let care down by a kiss.

I am born in words
and reborn reading; when the ink
from the black well spills.
These trees here are torn

between bliss and dismay, it is confusing
how the world is making progress
even as it staggers back
on one bleakest Saturday;

a chasm opens like a speech
the monster of all creation makes
but that is a volcanic belch
instead; God is dead to live,

the twisting snakery of organised
deception at the tricked hinge
of Easter, where the magic
is love's risk of everything.

But fixed. Stacked. A house
that knows its odds. I never complain
that Christ rises on the Sunday,
it is good theatre and good news.

It is truce with warring nature;
why spar with Caesar forever?
The people who said no
become those who say yes, later.

The mob is just indifferent
ignorance; it gets confused,
as I say, when sung or spoken;
it is a story, not a truth.

It is Truth, happening all at once
and everywhere like a storm
so big it lifts a hemisphere.
I forgive those who hissed and nailed.

Our God was impaled, he suffered
so that God knows what we do
when we die.  We are the pain
he endured, unified in injustice.

You ask why discomforts must occur
to be experienced even by God?
A child without water, a desert hot
as coals and no wheat or river there:

the world was made in confusion,
this is certain, it is particularly
creative and dense, and packed
with motion and processions;

never reverses; flows, and alters,
as do minds, and souls. It occurs,
the world, as does a work of art;
it has, even, a sort of heart.

And so, this cannot be stopped,
as one stops a clock to change time.
That would not be freedom, only artifice;
we would be golden statues

in a pearl garden under a jade sky.
No movement and no chance to change
or learn. Dying here is what change
makes happen as its form.

The wind dices for the skein of things
that cannot be rent apart, whole;
Ice in the heart of the law
did not even thaw for Jesus.

We have one weather for our God,
one sky, one cruel domain,
it is the same, it is the one that saw
our tender Lord both fall and fly.

BY TODD SWIFT
EASTER SATURDAY, 2016
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