Saturday, 4 April 2015

Good Friday candles, song and story, and light remains


the sun has completed its long descent toward the horizon,
clouds continue to roll over Edinburgh their slick clear gloss
tourists linger outside the church as locals stride with purpose
for the glass doors, unknotting scarves, unbuttoning coats
to loosen the grip on the body's walking warmth.

within walls younger than the history of the place, for fire
fervour and fortune have all had their way with the building,
ancient tradition comes to life once more in the singing
and the telling of an even older story.

where is God, praise the Lord, why have you forsaken
me, the psalmists' cries ring out beneath foreign wood and echo
off walls and pillars of stone into the bones and souls below

one candle, two, three four five, and the lights extinguish, too:
six, seven, eight nine ten – but the darkness does not take the last.

one light remains and I see for the first time: hope is always

1 comment:

Marnie Agnew said...

Very evocative of Good Friday in an old Edinburgh church. Tenebrae is always moving, but I always find it sad. We usually have it on Maundy Thursday night and it always seems a long time of watching and waiting between Thursday night and Sunday morning. Having it on Friday night would seem more like laying it all to rest, knowing there was light at the other end. I like your poem, not least because it ends in hope, something that is harder to find on Maundy Thursday, with the agony of Good Friday still to come.