Two Gods, Three Faces: An Easter Poem

Two Gods, Three Faces: An Easter poem



The statue of the god who guards the turning of the year

Has two stone faces carved.

One looks toward the future yet to be

One back to all that was.

Blame sculptor for the flaw perhaps, but

Each face is blank.

Unmoved by what is gone,

Aloof to what will come.


Olympus’ peak is famous for its cold

But still,

Could even an olympian god look thus?

Gaze on time now gone with just


No tears? No sadness?

No mourning for what might have been?

No joy? No triumph?

No little smile for real though modest gain?

And could his other face be samely flat

As it surveys the future?

No hope? No fear?

No trepidation in those cold blank eyes?


Not even calm, serene.

Unable, not unwilling, to feel joy,

Or sadness, anticipation, or desire.

Perhaps the law from Sinai’s peak was right:

‘Make no image of your deity’

Who could carve or draw or see what God should feel?


* * *


Another face. Not blank, but wet with tears

‘If you only knew what must to bring you peace…’

Then wet with sweat in garden in the night

Then wet with blood and tears when crowned with thorns.


He wept at what had been

Then changed all that would be.

His face was seen, if never drawn or carved.

No blank indifference in the eyes of Christ.


Passionate, face blazing, he threw himself (the scholar said)

On history’s wheel to try to make it turn!

And turn it did at last (the scholar said)

And mangled his dead body as it rolled.


Better that than four cold eyes of Janus?

To care, to act, and if to fail,

At least it was for love, for purpose strong.


But what if that crushed body was re-knit,

With bone joined to bone, sinew to sinew,

Refilled once more with the Spirit’s breath?

The past recarved, what is to come redrawn

On that cold morning that made all time new.

What primal joy, what last desire

Was written on the face that first

Looked on the folded cloths?

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