The Reluctant Martyr
May 30, 2010
I wrote this to try to paint a portrait of a historic scene. Who is the speaker in the poem?
The thick rolling sea blue,
Was always my home,
But a garden, the sheep were scattered,
Infidelity by a fire but now alone,
Why didn’t I defend you?
I failed, the sheep were scattered.
The waves rolled knee high,
Up the pebble blanketed shore,
Sun glowing pink orange morning blue,
This last week shook me to the core,
I betrayed while you looked me in the eye,
Deeply I wish none of this was true!
Shoreline, a small fire of driftwood
The coals make a crackle
Three years and I feel the same
But my friend, again, it’s a miracle!
Because you did what no one could
And you alone gave me a new name.
Unreal what I feel
Still serving us in kindness
As you hand me a plate of fish
Then three questions with openness
I love you but my heart won’t heal
And what you ask I just don’t wish
Where the water meets the fertile plain
I know my failures but I’m older now
Our lives and love you demand of us
I will follow you, even if I don’t know how
Suddenly, truth and courage came
Beside the Sea of Tiberius
That day, my path was set, to a cross in the ground,
But rooted in the sky.
“ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω σοι, ὅτε ἦς νεώτερος, ἐζώννυες σεαυτὸν καὶ περιεπάτεις ὅπου ἤθελες: ὅταν δὲ γηράσῃς, ἐκτενεῖς τὰς χεῖράς σου, καὶ ἄλλος σε ζώσει καὶ οἴσει ὅπου οὐ θέλεις. τοῦτο δὲ εἶπεν σημαίνων ποίῳ θανάτῳ δοξάσει τὸν θεόν. καὶ τοῦτο εἰπὼν λέγει αὐτῷ, Ἀκολούθει μοι.”