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3 Easter Poems

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PSM V37 D324 Greenland eskimo.
PSM V37 D324 Greenland eskimo.
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by John Kendall Hawkins


I. The End of the Beginning

Jesus hated Jews shackled to shekels,

knocking over their tables one Wednesday,

saying, "Think." But they chased him with heckles.

Like Moses before him, there was no way

to get past Baal and the trappings of sin,

and M. almost cracked the decalogue

over his knee and just sat there like Quinn

the Eskimo, no jumps for joy, his slog

forgotten as soon as the pyramids

were in the rearview mirror, the Pharaoh's

soldiers swallowed by the sea. There were bids

between the soldiers for Messiah's clothes;

the sore loser stuck the spear in God's side.

Eskimo Quinn went home; he hitched a ride.


II. Awakening

Under a red and rolling sky

as haunted as a rorschach blot

energy finds the middle eye

and gleans the epiphanal polyglot.


Now rose, now lavender and gold,

the clouds combust and burn away

shimmering light bursts through: behold --

the awakening we call day.


O, this gray pulpy mass of brain

like a recalcitrant ghost

rattles the mental window pane

where dull memory stands engrossed.


Yet is shaken from sleep again

as the sun rises like the blesse'd host

pulled from the wine dark sea (amen)

and gives the middle eye a toast


III. Easter 1964

The immaculate white suit fit perfectly

I stood at the threshold smiling

arms stretched wide to the sun

I hunted the painted chocolate eggs

on my knees on grandma's rug

with the lily petals writhing

the aroma from the kitchen

my mother and her mother laughing

and Grandpa crippled from the war

submerged in crosswords, dying

and the priest on television, live

lifting the host up, up, up

beyond himself

up toward the painted ceiling

where two fingers touch

and holding it there

like a dagger in suspense

with high voices singing

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

and me thirsting, dreaming,

the sun in my eyes,

and the hissing lamb on the kitchen spit

still sizzling in my ears

(Article changed on Apr 01, 2021 at 12:29 AM EDT)


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John Kendall Hawkins is an American ex-pat freelance journalist and poet currently residing in Australia. His poetry, commentary, and reviews have appeared in publications in Oceania, Europe and the USA, such as Cordite, Morning Star, Hanging (more...)

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