The streets are strangely silent.
No crowds now,
One solitary walker passes by,
And no hosannas split the air.
We don’t expect a rider down the road,
Except, in nightmares,
One on a pale horse,
And fear and loneliness wage silent war
Beneath the screeching of the cockatoos,
And the strange magic of the magpies’ call.
It is not the season now for resurrections.
This autumn draws us in with gloomy arms,
And whispers, tantalising,
“Do you have ...
I have the birdsong, I have the grass,
Green from the blessed, sweet, restoring rain.
And I have shelter, clothing,
I have food.
And I have mercy’s benison each day,
And joy because a king once rode for me
Into the streets of far Jerusalem,
And he rode further on,
Right on to death,
To that strait place where no one walks with us,
The bitter isolation of the tomb,
And flung it wider than a city’s gate.
Therefore, it matters not if no crowds shout,
Or if our Lenten season is prolonged,
Or if we walk on silent, empty paths,
Or if we stand apart, wider than breath,
And cannot mingle in our Easter songs.
The cross he rode to holds all time and space,
And every shattered hope, and every tear
And every aching for the skin’s embrace,
And every stuttered prayer, and every sin,
And every broken moment of our lives,
And every shame and terror, every doubt,
He carried them all with him and atoned.
And, though the streets lie silent under cloud,
For him with ears to hear, the stones cry out.