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Nicodemus

April 17, 2017 by

At the holiest times of the year such as Christmas and Easter, I find myself drawn to the simplicity of poetry to give words to the feelings of the heart. Today, a day after Resurrection Sunday, I’d like to share another poem from my husband Chris, inspired by John 3:1-21 and 19:39.

a stormy sky at sunset with some big boulders almost silhouetted in front

Nicodemus
I
Nicodemus, that small man,
came to Jesus in the dark
and fumbled for words.
Jesus looked at him
and saw the molded clay
that shared his likeness –
told him: the kingdom belongs
to those reborn.
Nicodemus scuffed his sandals
and stared at his navel.
The child within him stirred,
then slipped away.
Jesus spoke of Spirit,
and of water,
to quench all.
He spoke of light,
which casts out darkness,
and of deliverance from condemnation.
Nicodemus waited
until he was finished,
then bowed out
into the dry night,
leaving as he came,
in the dark.

 

II
Under a sky black
as coffin nails
Nicodemus felt his soul whimper.
He gathered himself
before the tomb
and sought comfort
in the aloe’s breath
and the ponderous weight
of myrrh.
His questions dried up,
his lips sealed,
he let his hands speak
as he stroked
the Master’s bloodied head.
He sought the living;
he tended the dead.
Nicodemus left
in the pressing dark –
him and others like him:
eyes glazed,
reason ruined,
heart in flames;
the child, starved and afraid,
still coiled within.
And the final question
already answered:
Where will light enfold him
on the morning of rebirth?

Photograph: Carol Drew

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About the author

Norann Voll

Norann Voll

Norann Voll lived in New York’s Hudson Valley until moving to the Danthonia Bruderhof in New South Wales, Australia in 2002...

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