Easter Springtide – Vitali Linitsky (Russian painter, mid 70s)
Ancient terror prophecies, torture proven true:
brow mock-crowned, blood-barbed thorns,
carpenter’s palms, nail-pinioned, chiselled through –
legs smashed, ankles anchored on cruel cruciform.
Eerie sun eclipse, dread-dark that slaughter scene,
Christ’s carcass buried in a borrowed tomb;
male followers fled, female friends stayed to keen
– habeas corpus – but no body left to exhume.
Mistaken for mad, miracle-maker, water walker;
all our arrogant assumptions turned inside out:
prodigals restored, resurrection of dead daughters,
our sin-smudged slates wiped clean of doubt.
Hope-drunk hearts bow, hymn in gratitude:
free entry offered into kingdom come,
God’s oratorio without longitude or latitude –
blow loud the trumpet, strike hard the drum!
habeas corpus – Literally, the phrase means “[we command] that you should have the [detainee’s] body [brought to court]”