Bouquet of Bruises


Red lights flash

across a violent screen,

the survival of ghetto life,

a canvas of shattered dreams,

the Catholic Crusades

and the Islamic Conquests,

a medieval plague of suffering.


Jesus died forsaken.



not drafted.


not taken.


From eternity,

the Godhead decreed

the second Person

of the Trinity,

a kamikaze Pilot on a rescue mission,

saving soon-to-be-executed prisoners


by flying into enemy territory

to be shot down,


and tortured,


knowing what it’s like

to feel hope deflated,

left for dead

alone and hated


for a million and one

enslaved motives and failures


not His own

but for an all-star cast

from the least

to the lost

to the last:


from dangerous peasants

who subscribe to an anthropology

of communism

to duplicitous priests

like wolves among sheep

to death row prisoners

whose parents drank

from the same glass of narcissism.


Unforgiving fists

swing like Medusa’s snakes

without tongues

and heads,

striking the Achilles’ heal

of heroes unsung

and kind words unsaid.


The phantom of a tombstone,

awaiting His great awakening,

awarded a bouquet of bruises,

spotted purple posies

stretched around spotless bones.


Victory over fists of rage

cried out from the grave.


A carcass with a pulse,

a miracle dipped in myrrh,

perfumed a Jewish beard

and consecrated a blameless soul,


snipping sutures of sin

with prophetic scissors

to seal open wounds

for us

to be set free,

to live counter-culturally:

vagabonds in mansions,

ex-cons clean shaven.


From an empty tomb

a bright light reflecting

a mirror-image

of a dove descending,


empowering former ravens

to ascend above the clouds

and the violence,

shattered dreams

and plagues

to be baptized with tongues of fire,


consuming hearts refined,

a pilgrimage for all souls

to submit to the Spirit’s power

and to emulate the Son

to genuflect before the Father,

living life to the fullest,

suffering with joy

to the last hour.


Friends feed the inherent desire in every single one of us to be seen and heard and remembered. And that makes us feel immovable and immortal as if the universe itself came alive to witness a miracle. And nothing we say or do will ever be forgotten. (This hints at the foreshadowing of a personal relationship with the ultimate Being—immovable and immortal—who is closer to us than a brother and who created us to know Him and to be known by Him.) But what if this convivial concept of friendship escapes us?

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if you’ve dropped your keys,

hat or hash pipe

into the “rabbit hole”

of delusive fantasy,

whirling and writhing down

an eternal abyss of insanity,

further and further away

from the drain of objective reality.

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Our reassurance

is His willingness

to be caught in the cross hairs,

a red dot

at the intersection

of an atoning fare

and a predetermined time-slot.

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