poetry

Lapis Lazuli Draped

The moon hung there
like Cyclops' lazy eye;
yellow against an onyx sky,
more foul than fair.

No hazy memory, this:

“There is no time to waste,
you must with haste.
the ruler’s gone amiss.”

Put to flight by the Lie.
Fleeing from that pesky blowfly.

"Listen! flesh tears"

Red runs the halls.
mothers, fathers, all,
avoid not the squall.
yet here Abel calls.

“Leave the leaven there.
there is no time to spare.
grab our bundle-fair,
to where there is no snare”

“Hush, hush, my sleepyhead.
We rush!
Before this house-of-bread
runs red,
until that man lies dead.”

So, Ishah-new,
with her Apple-true,
lapis lazuli draped,
quietly escaped

to hide from Herod,
amid sphinx and sand;
life, near death, so grand—
veiled by pyramid.

© 2017 rl busséll

An image of a stained glass window of the Flight into Egypt from the Nave of Saint David of Wales Church. Denton Texas
An image of a stained glass window of the Flight into Egypt from the Nave of Saint David of Wales Church. Denton Texas

Postscript

“Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”

When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:

A voice was heard in Ramah,
wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.”

Matthew 2:13-18

Inspired by the gospel of Matthew 2:13-18, the poem’s an imagined exchange between the Angel, Joseph and Mary. The first voice the Angel’s speaking to Joseph, the second, Joseph speaking to Mary, the third, Mary speaking to Jesus.

The Angel

No hazy memory, this:

“There is no time to waste,
you must with haste.
the ruler’s gone amiss.”

Put to flight by the Lie.
Fleeing from that pesky blowfly.

"Listen! flesh tears"

The warning comes to Joseph through an angel in a dream, but is not hazy, it is solid, and Joseph is attune to God and knows how to listen.

“Listen! flesh tears”, Herod is seeking the death of the child-king. Jesus is a threat to Herod, the King of the Jews. The “Lie” is the Father of Lies, Satan, the Great Deceiver, the “blowfly”, Herod the Great, who will die before the Holy Family will be able to return to the Land of Promise.

“Red runs the halls.
mothers, fathers, all,
avoid not the squall.
Yet, here, Abel calls.”


The world is changing and no one will avoid this change. The moon and the stars are realigning. The rulers of this world are falling from their high places (Luke 1:52) and the blood of Abel still calls to God for justice to be done. (Genesis 4:10)

Joseph

“Leave the leaven there.
There is no time to spare.
Grab our bundle-fair,
to where there is no snare”

“Leave the leaven there”: we must, with haste, away as our forefathers had once done. We cannot wait to let the Bread-of-Life rise in this House-of-Bread, Bethlehem. We must escape and fly to Egypt. God is full of irony. Where once our people were enslaved, we, are going to flee, so that our people will be free forever. Our little bird must avoid the snare of the fowler.

Mary

“Hush. Hush, my sleepyhead.
We rush!
Before this house-of-bread
runs red;
until that man lies dead.”

Mary awakens the sleeping Jesus explaining why they must rush away from Bethlehem, the House-of-Bread. Mary is predicting the death of the innocents and their return after Herod’s death.

Finishing up

So, Ishah-new,
with her Apple True,
lapis lazuli draped,
quietly escaped

to hide from Herod
amid sphinx and sand;
life, near death, so grand—
veiled by pyramid.

Ishah, pronounced “eesha” and translated, “women”, is the name of Eve (the mother of all the living) before she and Adam (man) were expelled from Eden. The Apple-true is the Promised Fruit, Jesus, who will break the world to remake the world, bringing truth and life once more to the dead, dying and parched earth. In Egypt, among the monuments to death, among the sand, among the solid veil of pyramids, among the memories of slavery and the great serpent, they will escape death so that the Son of Man, will come out of Egypt, out of the land of Goshen to dwell in Nazareth. (Luke 2:23)

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