Judas Iscariot

*
My lonely tree boasts a view for crows
yet I remain suspended
between the coins’ silver dance at the feet of priests
and a groaning rope.

*
Shadows rallied night to the walls of Zion
as I watched from the milling crowd.
Pilate and the Nazarene.
Pilate could not face him,
could not look into those cow eyes.
His sorry arm dismissed us all
with a tired backward wave.

*
And tomorrow? Tomorrow my task is done.
Just as sure as if I had anointed my lips with poison
this strumpet’s son will die.
You are weak, Nazarene.
Weaker than I and the strong alone will win this fight.

*
It comes now from dusty streets
a shadow a movement a bubbling swollen stream
pushed forward by an uncontrollable tide
swirling jostling rolling streaming
boiling and whirling yelling and tumbling
faces swimming in the current
covered heads wailing arms flailing brand and sticks
shawls flying off one shoulder onto the next
and a face, upturned, head uncovered.
Brother! Why scorn me so?
I did this thing for you as well.
Is it I alone who see the poison of this Nazarene?

*
My lonely tree waits.
In the light of firebrands
the first red buds swell out.
Tomorrow. And tomorrow when the rain comes?
They will burst with life.

Judas Iscariot

Mike Rowley

Normanby, New Zealand

  • Artwork Comments 2

Artwork Comments

  • hsien-ku
  • Mike Rowley
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