Eastertide Poetry: Simon Peter's Sonnet

This weekend I am honored to participate in Saving Sabbath, a workshop for church leaders in children & family ministries. If you're reading this blog, then you're probably aware of how much value I place on Sabbath and self care. When we truly rest, we step out of our time zone and into God's "unforced rhythms of grace," as The Message's translation of Matthew 11:28 reads. 

Because of the time I've devoted to preparing for the workshop, I have not had as much time to focus on a blog entry this week. So I went in search of an appropriate poem for the Easter season.

Searching through 15 years of poetry on the computer leads to some "what-did-that-mean" head scratches. There are also frantic searches for the "delete" button on that poem that rhymes "fear" with "tear" and "blue" with "you." Of course, I've also smiled and said to myself, "That wasn't too bad for a 20-year-old."

I opened the computer with a purpose:  find a poem to revise and share on the blog while shrimp and grits bubble on the stove. However, opening art from my 20s took me into a different time zone much like the Sabbath. Time was no longer chronological but an unforced rhythm. While I was not drawn back into the past, God did draw me into an awareness of his grace that had guided the past.

God hallowed the seventh day and enjoyed all that He'd created. When we observe the Sabbath, we have an opportunity to enjoy Creator God and all the creativity He's placed within us. In quiet and rest, we soak in his grace, remember his grace, and forge ahead filled with his grace to write the next poems of our lives.

I did not revise any poems, but I did find one to share. I wrote it ten years ago as a class assignment, a sonnet based on Passover, Lent, and Easter. In John 21, when the resurrected Jesus appears to his disciples, he asks Simon Peter a question as they eat breakfast together on the seashore. He asks us the same question today. Perhaps our answer should include time away with the One who is the Way.

all good things to each of you,

Pastor Darian

Simon Peter, do you love Me?

The murky sky is starless, light has ceased,

And air is filled with ripping skin, the red

Of blood pours down the stone so white, so dead,

And smoke that permeates the holy feast

Engulfs the cries, the prayers, the pleas, the priest.

And through the fog, a lamb upon its bed

Lies still and silent; every vein has bled.

The greatest of the flock is now the least.


The fiery sounds of ritual subside,

A seashore morning dawns— I hear His voice—

Gentle, like water seeping through this hand,

His words become a stream, a flow, a tide

Of water mixed with spotless blood still moist.

He waits for me on endless grains of sand.

(February 2005)