Faust Walks Out on Easter Morning

“All things transient are but a parable”
Goethe, Faust

These books are killing me he thought.
The sun has risen, the bells toll eight.
I’ve tried to learn before it’s late.
I woke to feel I could not breathe
So took both dog and my leave.
Been talking loud for hours now
To no one but the clanging sound
Of whether I should go or stay
To hear the lightning have its say.

“Where,” it asks, “was I before
I flashed across the coming day?”

But now the sun has risen up.
I sense the answer calls me out
To shout at someone close to me
That living is a dark unknowing
Far beyond your reach, my friends,
Sitting there boxed and self-assured
Neatly stretched along the walls.
It is true you enclose this room,
Give it a stately sense, a hint
That the one who uses it
Is wise, knows, has learned from you
Those answers held within.
We both know better.

“Where,” the lightning asked, “was I before
I flashed across the darkening dawn?”

So I came to the place
Where the lady lay waiting
Under the weeping sky.
Who are you looking for?
The gardener asked the lady at the tomb.
But she too could not recognize the living
Man, the fierce voice speaking
Those breathtakingly lovely words:
Do not cling to me.
Do not cling. Let go
And tell the others
That you will not find your truth
Living among the dead,
Images and words
Woven subtly down the page.
For you, dead letters.

So on and on I walked, asking,
Where was I before that room
Where answers were my tomb
And where I wondered day and night
Before I wandered lost in fright?

“Where was I,” the lightning sighed,
Before I flashed across the sky?”

Do not cling to me was his reply.











5 thoughts on “Faust Walks Out on Easter Morning”

  1. It’s a poem fest!
    I put this over at TAE a while back, but it’s Easter- the season of grace. Gentle Easter, y’all.

    Whither grace in the curving world
    And gifts without encumbrance?
    What is the path to a mind at peace
    And love without remembrance?

  2. An Easter poem to touch and open the mind and heart. Thank you, Ed, and a blessed Easter to you and to all your readers, whatever the “take” on Easter to which life has led them. In the same spirit, let me offer another Easter poem, one of my favorites from the largely-forgotten Beat genre. Maybe others will chime in with poems of their own on this ever-poetic day, which arrives in what had been a terribly prosaic time…until the panic.

    Sometime During Eternity . . .

    Sometime during eternity
    some guys show up
    and one of them
    who shows up real late
    is a kind of carpenter
    from some square-type place
    like Galilee
    and he starts wailing
    and claiming he is hip
    to who made heaven
    and earth
    and that the cat
    who really laid it on us
    is his Dad
    And moreover
    he adds
    It’s all writ down
    on some scroll-type parchments
    which some henchmen
    leave lying around the Dead Sea somewheres
    a long time ago
    and which you won’t even find
    for a coupla thousand years or so
    or at least for
    nineteen hundred and fortyseven
    of them
    to be exact
    and even then
    nobody really believes them
    or me
    for that matter
    You’re hot
    they tell him
    And they cool him
    They stretch him on the Tree to cool
    And everybody after that
    is always making models
    of this Tree
    with Him hung up
    and always crooning His name
    and calling Him to come down
    and sit in
    on their combo
    as if he is the king cat
    who’s got to blow
    or they can’t quite make it

    Only he don’t come down
    from His Tree
    Him just hang there
    on His Tree
    looking real Petered out
    and real cool
    and also
    according to a roundup
    of late world news
    from the usual unreliable sources
    real dead

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