Friday, December 02, 2011

Sonnet: Markan prologue

If I had to describe Mark's gospel with a punctuation mark, it would be the exclamation point.

A bleak and austere scene for a beginning--
A desert splash outside Jerusalem.
Yet gospel comes to those whose hopes are thinning,
Who think that God's chief aim is to condemn.
We can't deny the voice is somewhat shrill:
"Prepare the way!" it cries from Jordan's banks.
"Repent and turn away from Satan's will!
Make straight the path for One of royal ranks!"
And yet within this message lies a vow:
The advent of this Holy One is near!
The prophets' long-awaited day has now
Arrived.  The world be cleansed of sin and fear!
              So let this gospel in bleak hearts find room
              That faith, like desert flowers, soon may bloom.

Phillip Martin