Eastern OrthodoxPoetry

Two Thieves

Everything is contained in the crux
Alpha and omega, beginning and end
Foundation and destruction
Shame and glorification
Sin and redemption
Wrath and love

As infinity figure-eights around
We get two sides to the story
Right and left, down and up
Scorn and supplication
Sheep and goats
Heaven and hell

Let’s steal a look at the two thieves
Also lifted up on the cross drawing us
One on the left hand, on on the right
Railing and repentance
Death and life
Me and you

All of our life’s days are stolen time
All of our lives hang in the balance
Now could be heaven, could be hell
Preparation or punishment
Paradise or perdition
Part or parcel

There’s no choice if or not you have a cross
The wise thief takes his and finds it light
Take up your cross, carry until dead
Be today with him in Paradise
He carries you and it
Up and in

You may deny your cross—you can’t see it
Or feel the God whose son you are
And lift yourself, not your cross
Draw your own living breath
Until the spirit is given up
It is finished

Prepare to be thrown around for a loop or two:
Heaven and Hell aren’t up or down, but a cross
All things are made new, even you
God nails us with violent love
By the wood of the cross
Be lightened

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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