A Mysterious Companion

 
 
  

The Road to Emmaus -   Joseph von Führich

 

Way Home

 

 

We had hung around
those who followed him,
on the fringes
of what was going on.
Something about him
magnetised us -
a harnessed energy -
His actions were natural
as running water,
performed with gentle
economy of movement,
as if integrity
on every front
was key to healing
and wisdom's pearls
must not fall foul
beneath forked feet.
His words singed
a place in the memory
for Good, echoing
of a past and future Now,
strange cadences
on the tongue
of a Nazarene.

The women held their breath,
rapt at the sight.
Adam was in focus
and the locus
of their response,
the chambers of the heart.

He drew the children
with no sweet enchantment,
no narcissistic guile,
only the gift
of their reflected selves
within God's eye.

Next thing we knew,
they'd laid a charge
of gross profanity
against him.
He was the pinnacle
of innocence to us.

They slaughtered him
to feed carnivorous appetite,
an orgiastic rite.
Pitch night
eclipsed the light
and Jerusalem was mute.

Turning tail, we trudged
the homeward dust
we'd shaken off
without a second thought,
retreating to a shell
that did not beckon
and reckoned with
no warmth and welcome.
Where were we headed
but to an emptiness
we'd gladly forsaken?
We knew well enough,
as twilight empurpled
the day with regal shades,
imparting mystery
to our deadened tones,
that something momentous
had taken place.
We could not match
the expectation
still suspended in the soul
with unrewarded dreams.
We seemed no longer
enough for one another.

When all at once,
our quantum leap of longing
begat a perfect stranger!
Unaware of the demise
of Israel's hope,
he kindled a flame
so bursting bright,
it cast new light
upon unfolding history
and diamond promises
of scripture.
We didn't want to part
and begged him tarry
at our door, come,
cross the threshold,
light our lamps,
set our hearth and hearts ablaze,
share our supper,
drink our wine,
let not this day's vision
go stale on us!
Our yen to seal the bond
compelled oblivion
of the meagre larder.

The tactile planes
of earth dissolved
into heaven's board
and victuals spread
before our Guest,
he blessed,
and broke the bread -
such precious fare
within his hands -
as if he would return our gift
with value manifold.
How blind! How blind
our flesh and blood!
We knew him then,
our Host!
That instant, he was gone...
bequeathing us the Holy Ghost.
Had we prefigured him,
or he us?
In consuming,
he was himself
consumed
and by that means,
he made us Whole.

 

 The Emmaus Disciples - Abraham Bloemaerts

 

Supper at Emmaus  - Léon-Augustin Lhermitte

 

From JERICHO ROSE, Songs from the Wilderness (poetry collection in preparation).