Eastern OrthodoxPoetry

Great Lent 2016 Week 2

The poems below were inspired by the Lenten Triodion readings for each day, which can be found here: http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/prayers/triodion/triodion.html

Sunday of Orthodoxy 2016

The first icon was written
By the hand of God in red clay
And the first kiss it received
Was to fill it with breath

But the first iconoclast
Made the icon just a picture
Removing it from the temple
And preparing it for the fire

And so the prototype came
In the form of his own icon
And again filled the clay
And made it his holy temple

Glory to the one whose icon we are
Glory to the one who came in our image
Glory to the one who conforms us to him
Glory to him whose image we worship

Lent Week 2 Monday

Remember O Lord
That we are but the dust of the earth
And the earth is the Lord’s

Remember O Lord
The fullness of the earth is yours also
We are filled with your breath

Remember O Lord
Do not send us back to dust for our sins
But let us rise to you like incense

Lent 2016 Week 2 Tuesday

I sit down for the feast to which I am called
At a table devoid of any nourishment
I have squandered all but the pigs’ husks

I have been too lazy to even lift my hand
But he whose hands were lifted up for me
Has prepared of himself a full repast

Close my mouth and open instead my heart
With the spear that slays the sinful serpent
And I will offer it back to you in Eucharist

Lent 2016 Week 2 Wednesday

Planting only seeds of faith in our bellies
Let them blossom into tears for our sins
That we may bear the fruit of righteousness

As we see the meat of the word lifted up
Help us to keep down what nourishes us
The suffering that brings eternal life

Help us to eat down our death from the tree
That we may eat the life that comes from yours
And be restored to communion in Paradise

Lent 2016 week 2 Thursday

Lord be merciful to us and help us to be
Merciless with ourselves and our sin
Crushing the heads of our serpents

Go forth as soldiers killing ourselves with kindness
By giving life freely to those in need of it
Only by saving others can we ourselves be saved

Let us fast from knowing too much
Other than your lovingkindness
And your all lifegiving death on the cross

Lent 2016 week 2 Friday

Take two tablets and call me Sunday morning
That consists of the whole law that profits
Starve a sin and feed a soul, says the physician

We’ve come down with a bad case of dancing
There is meat for all, and it is a lot of bull
And we’ve broken both the tablets to pieces

We imitate the wrong ones who died before
Gorging ourselves on meat instead of medicine
Take just a little wine for your stomach’s sake

Lent 2016 week 2 Saturday

We are given a way to travel
A river, a ladder, a morning star
By a man bearing God to us

We are given a guide to follow
A trumpet, a pillar, a morning star
By a man going to God with us

We are given a destination
A great joy, a spirit, a morning star
By a man gone to God before us

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy

A Northerner by upbringing, Kenneth has lived in the South since his (first) college days. After returning to college, he began to do more than just dabble with writing, and has self-published a children's picture book, a middle-reader's book, and several collections of poetry. Baptized in the Roman Catholic church, raised in the fundamentalist Baptist church, and having spent time in the Reformed Baptist church, Kenneth settled down in the Eastern Orthodox church in 2006.

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