4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

“Jesus Is Condemned” and “Jesus Meets His Mother”

James Matthew Wilson
James Matthew Wilson

Jesus Is Condemned

  • I tried to think for half an hour
  • About the face of earthly powers
  • That would condemn a god to die.
  • I listened for its menacing cackles,
  • The crack of whips, the clank of shackles,
  • And searched for dark flames in the eye.
  • Through the church window I heard shrieks
  • Of ambulances whose techniques
  • Efficiently undo our wounds;
  • The certain hum of homeward motors,
  • A candidate’s rank appeal to voters,
  • In these its stare and voice I found.
  • For we sit kind, when comfort’s here,
  • But draw our weapons with our fears
  • Should we one pleasure be denied.

Jesus Meets His Mother

  • Her face seems calm, when he descries her
  • Dark mantle, and sees that her eyes are
  • Counting the deep strokes on his back,
  • Noting where woven thorns imprinted
  • Kingship on his brow, how rust-tinted
  • With damp the dust runs in his track.
  • He feels her kiss against his shut eye,
  • And tries to tell her he will not die.
  • She says she’ll see him through the race.
  • After all, she’s heard all his words;
  • Her heart received them undisturbed,
  • And undisturbed, now, her soft face.
  • But, the authorities speak with one accord:
  • That heart is pierced by seven swords
  • And bleeds for being so full of grace.

James Matthew Wilson’s most recent books are Some Permanent Things and The Catholic Imagination in Modern American Poetry.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Steph Richards’ super scents make Supersense

“Listen to the music and let the smells wash over you.”
Next Article

Can Mitsubishi get enough electric trucks for cement warehouse?

Environmental Health Coalition speaks out for Barrio Logan
James Matthew Wilson
James Matthew Wilson

Jesus Is Condemned

  • I tried to think for half an hour
  • About the face of earthly powers
  • That would condemn a god to die.
  • I listened for its menacing cackles,
  • The crack of whips, the clank of shackles,
  • And searched for dark flames in the eye.
  • Through the church window I heard shrieks
  • Of ambulances whose techniques
  • Efficiently undo our wounds;
  • The certain hum of homeward motors,
  • A candidate’s rank appeal to voters,
  • In these its stare and voice I found.
  • For we sit kind, when comfort’s here,
  • But draw our weapons with our fears
  • Should we one pleasure be denied.

Jesus Meets His Mother

  • Her face seems calm, when he descries her
  • Dark mantle, and sees that her eyes are
  • Counting the deep strokes on his back,
  • Noting where woven thorns imprinted
  • Kingship on his brow, how rust-tinted
  • With damp the dust runs in his track.
  • He feels her kiss against his shut eye,
  • And tries to tell her he will not die.
  • She says she’ll see him through the race.
  • After all, she’s heard all his words;
  • Her heart received them undisturbed,
  • And undisturbed, now, her soft face.
  • But, the authorities speak with one accord:
  • That heart is pierced by seven swords
  • And bleeds for being so full of grace.

James Matthew Wilson’s most recent books are Some Permanent Things and The Catholic Imagination in Modern American Poetry.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Tortillas star at Taquería Zapata

A shorter menu of tacos outside Pancho Villa market, still two bucks each
Next Article

The USS Midway’s stalwarts

It’s impossible not to think of Tom Brokaw’s phrase “Greatest generation” when you listen to the man talk.
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close