Monday, April 21, 2014

The Road Waits

on July 24.  © Steven Federle, All rights reserved
clip_image001
The road waits,
but I’m not ready.

I pause, cradled by soft leather
In this silent room,
listening to morning’s
soft breath stirring
the glimmering summer leaves,

as the perched bird
gazes through my open window
into my wondering eyes
and waits.

But this is a good morning to wait.

Look how the extravagant grass waves,
and truant weeds luxuriate along the fence,
while in the small central garden
red flowers gather like
warm, slumbering children
under the wide,
spreading vine!

But still the road waits.

I’ve seen
the glistening pavements
slide under my rolling wheels,
the river to my right,
green Ohio rising
into northern forests,
and misty Kentucky
calling to me
across the wide,
glittering waters.

The road goes on,
and I cannot
wait.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Peter's Report

Running all the way,
bent double in breathless pain
we peer and see
the gaping grave
open to the rising sun.

Slowly we enter, our eyes sun-blind,
when we see the empty bench,
the bloody cloth cast within.

I try to imagine
how light must have pierced the cloth,
the sudden shudder
of His broken body,
His sharp breath exploding
like a swimmer breaking the surface,

and I notice John’s eyes
outshining the sun,
and my own face
lighting even death's
darkest place!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Passion in the Garden

In the long, empty night
I hear your song.

Longing I seek
but can only see
my own dying face
in shattered glass
and piercing steel.

I tremble in fear.
O, where have you gone?

Sing me again your soaring love-song

and show me the way,
for night’s a thin wall
and death, a porous veil.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Holy Saturday

Storms pass, winds subside
life abides.

See how the cottonwoods
spread new leaves,
fill the blank sky with
emerald sheen
as waving vines praise
the living spirit
of spring,

for soon the shrouded sun will flame
through constraining mists
and in glory rise to complete
this forgiven world
and set it free.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Sadness of Holy Saturday


Through the moonless night
clouds choke receding light

and the world descends
into darkness.

Where are you
as winter's chill pierces my hands? 

Oh, where have you gone? 

Do you not care that I decay
without your gentle breath,
that without your light 
I wane like the failing sun?

Why have you abandoned me?

Through my tears I see 
two millennia of agony, 
the six million slain,
all the fallen generations
newly free, heavy nails 
at last released. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Denial of St. Peter


Caravaggio, The Denial of St. Peter

On the edge
hands clenched, 
sad eyes downcast
bitter fear forcing tight his lips
he holds his breath

he pauses
as the angry finger
of the state
points at his throat,
hard eyes searching Peter’s
indecision
for rash conviction;

but she, she knows
has seen before
his adoring eyes, heard his 
boastful voice
by the campfire
of the condemned.

Slowly he moves
toward the inevitable lie
as the bloody sun
stirs to song
the drowsy cock.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Miracle

“Come, dervishes: here is the water of life. Dance in it.”
Thomas Merton


The night looked bad.

Waves towered,
clouds racing
across the glaring moon,
the sea pounding out
all hope for their little boat,
when a ghost approached,
softly glowing,
impossibly walking across the
wet way.

Terror gripped them.

They saw grim Satan
striding across the waves
to take them down
to his watery hell,

But Peter,
truth clearing his fearful eyes,
saw His face, felt His peace
and, radiant with surging faith,
joyfully stepped over the side
to join his beloved Lord.

His feet touched the soft water.

It was like walking
through shallow puddles.

Lifting his legs
he moved slowly forward,

when looking down,
dark doubt
sucked him under
legs first,
then waist deep.

He cried, "Lord, save me!"

and thrusting his hands
to heaven,
he felt the strong grip raising him back
to life.