Written a few years ago, trying to get inside the experience of those women coming to the tomb
Here, in the grey-wracked morning, turning slowly
Into benighted day, liftless as a stone;
Numbed automata, with tears too dry for falling,
Down their own sorrowed way, unto death they come.
Lift, petals, lift! No, even dew seems heavy.
Down to the down of things, where the dead hopes lie.
Surely no birds? The sun for them still darkened.
Love is their lodestar, dim in a silent sky.
All Gentleness touches the hills with morning.
There is no lightening here, at the empty end.
All Tenderness touches the earth with springtime;
Whilst, into final winter they descend.
When every trust's betrayed, you may doubt your senses,
Strained beyond all surprise, too much pain to think.
So they stand blankly there, where the rock was shifted;
So they stand blankly there, on fulfilment's brink.
Gone the last talisman, stretched to utter nothing.
Nothing of angels speaks to the loss within.
Where is the key to life? In the darkness fumbling,
They cannot see, who witness everything.
Nothing compels, nothing but Joy Incarnate!
How long can Life Triumphant hold back glee?
One small-breathed name, the universe is sundered!
One word of His sets every prisoner free!
Joy, full-winged Joy, lights on the downcast shoulders!
Never such dawn, never such day begun!
The long-held secret, shouted through creation!
Drink, deeply drink, the joy of victory won!