Two Sonnets About the Sucky Side of Resurrection

Lazarus 

From the cave I walked into the darkness
I once called day, and gagged upon the smells.
My sisters wore the ashes of distress;
I loosened my shroud and poor Martha fell.
I despaired to find myself back in hell,
some error had returned me to the world
of dull-eyed beasts, of shit and dust and filth.
I had not missed them once, those wailing girls.
And then I saw the one they call The Pearl,
saw in his eyes he knew what he had done.
He unbound me—our single grief unfurled—
But offered me no succor; there was none.
I cried out for the starlit place I’d been.
This is your cross, he said. To live again.

Talitha
Like a cooling pot returned to the hearth,
My bones began once more to simmer.
I felt the pain again, though now less sharp
And kept my eyes shut, to not lose the glimmer
Of where I’d just been, its whirl and shimmer.
But it melted like the moon into dawn,
Replaced by a voice that I remembered
As the one I’d followed back here. I yawned;
My mother gasped. My spirit fought the one
Who held the kite-string of my soul and pulled.
He said a bit of broth would hold me down.
I tried to say I was already full.
Now Mother sews and says I’ll marry
And forget, in time, that place I tarried.

by E. D. Watson

Two Sonnets About Adam and Eve

So, I’ve been experimenting with sonnets, just to see how hard it might be. The verdict: Sonnets are very hard. It makes me appreciate Shakespeare on a different level. Here are two of my attempts.

Adam

Back then I could pronounce their names, the ones

They called themselves, each one different.

We walked together ‘neath a single sun;

I had nothing for to be repentant.

This loss, of all things, most grieves my conscience:

With my first taste of flesh, I was transformed.

My ears closed up, and I lost the nuance

Of animal speech and the voice inside storms.

Now, the high-lonesome wind just sounds forlorn

And I’ve forgotten the words to the birds’ songs.

My woman mostly looks at me in scorn,

between us a distance many words long.

Sometimes I think I almost understand

The ragged sparrow who still finds my hand.

 


Eve

My husband was obsessed with gods and names—

“An oak,” he’d say, pointing. He called me Eve.

From him I learned to sniff for rain

Which was god, he said, as was breeze.

We did in those days just as we pleased,

And met the gods for supper once a week.

Adam milked the goats, I made the cheese;

In time our eyes grew bright, our bellies sleek.

But as the days unspooled I came to think

That there was something crucial we yet lacked

And also lacked the name for such a thing.

Restless, tetchy, I stepped out back

And—Oh!—the sweetness of that forbidden fruit!

To know the thing I was. To learn the truth.