The Paschal Four

Timothy Barr

I.

When in subtle mass I weighed,
Latent boughs kicked fleshy drum.
Falling circumstances staid
The appetite for love and thumb.
Patience swaddled in the moons
Through clouds about my nebulous form;
My origin loved me in monsoons
Though I was yet naught but worm.
In sphere I was, as sphere I made
Tunnels of blood stretched heavenward,
Ropes of life were spun and frayed
Nightish bastion, quelled in cord.
Impelled toward wound, I came in span,
My crest opposed the source of weight,
Pain my propeller, namesake as man,
Did I but inherit the strings of fate.
I shivered off my cord and coil;
And broke the primal virgin light
To live in truth and leave the soil,
To regain my immortal sight.

II.

Fissured promise come into I,
Archetype for languid age.
My marrow holds my red and sigh,
Learns me of woman and my rage.
These bones are frames for negatives,
Skin mere cover for holy course,
Shell shrouds the secret in me lives,
Eyes making wine by yeast and force.
The kiss of virgin vision lingers
As ghost of passion on my void.
I feel a message beneath my fingers;
Report of life slowly destroyed.
Clouds overcast the firmest truth,
Countenance ‘round disguised by thought;
Yet in my plea, in prayer, in youth,
I have found what I have sought.
Pain of silence haunts the lash
But sores are sweet for seedling faith.
My zeal burns with unseen ash;
In water, blood, and gall I bathe.

III.

Then herald my decay, you brood
Who hold high your heavy, poisoned heads,
Sing psalms of suffering misconstrued
As sun his bride horizon weds.
Sinful season wraps its joints
Around the remnant blood and thought.
With ash and dirt, the earth anoints
The son which from its loins was wrought.
Ascending mounts with broken load
Sacrifice upon my stem,
History climbs upon the road
Him to perish, to salvage them.
Shroud covers naught but what is seen
And hides mere wooden ritual
Like infant love, we all must wean
Ourselves from all that is habitual.
My soul rejects the hero’s fate
Limbs thrown in constellation fast
For by thistle’s draw was conquered hate
His blood upon the stars is cast.

IV.

Rejoice! oh son of man and song,
To depths the night of love has spread!
Greenest shoot has cleansed your wrong
In sleep, man is no longer dead.
Fugues fly from pipes veiled in my spine,
Honey and milk flow through my veins.
Promises rise at call divine
When only surrender forever reigns.
Thrown from sea’s belly, chariots ride,
Drivers cloaked in gloried flesh,
They leave behind their drowning pride
And take their souls to rake and thresh.
Glory blinds the trodden one
Yet darkness may caress the heart,
For only by the love of son
Can spring forth the better part.
Hallelujah! Cries this stone
Blessed with tongue lacked in the crowd
Sole is my victory to atone,
To shed my sin, to bow aloud.

Timothy Barr, 17, is a senior at Monsignor Bonner High School. He wrote “The Paschal Four” as a junior and was sponsored by his English teacher, Mrs. Elizabeth Smith.