A Day for the Broken Language of Poetry. . .


Good Friday

Psalm 22

My God, my God, O why have You forsaken me, and why
are You so far from saving me, while groaning words I cry?

All day, my God, to Thee I cry, yet am not heard by Thee;
And in the darkness of the night, I cannot silent be.

But You are holy, and You are enthroned in Isr’el’s praise.
Our fathers put their trust in You – deliv’rance You did raise.

When unto You they sent their cry, to them deliv’rance came;
Because they put their trust in You, they were not put to shame.

But as for me, a worm am I; as man, not recognized.
Reproach of men I am, and by the people am despised.

All that see me laugh me to scorn; hurl insults all the day;
They nod and shake their heads at me; and mocking me, they say:

“This man did trust in God, that He would free him by his might;
Let Him deliver him, if He in him does take delight.”

But You brought me out of the womb, and made me trust in Thee;
And even at my mother’s breast You did take care of me.

From birth I was upon You cast, ev’n from the womb till now;
From mother’s womb You’ve been my Lord, my God and guide art Thou.

Be not far off, for grief is near, and none to help is found;
Bulls compass me; Bulls of Bashan encircle me around.

The lions’ mouths are opened wide against me all the day.
Like as a lion ravaging and roaring for his prey.

Like water I’m poured out, my bones all out of joint do part;
Amidst my inward parts, as wax, so melted is my heart.

My strength is like a potsherd dried; my tongue impedes my breath;
It sticks to my mouth’s roof – You lay me in the dust of death.

For dogs have compassed me about; the wicked, that did meet
in their assembly, circled me; they pierced my hands and feet.

I all my bones can count; they do upon me look and stare.
And for my garments lots they cast, my clothes among them share.

But be not far, O Lord, my strength; come quickly and help me.
From sword my soul, from pow’r of dogs, my precious life set free.

Out of the roaring lion’s mouth do rescue me and save;
From horns of oxen and wild beasts, You heard and answer gave.

I will declare Your name unto my brethren everywhere.
Amidst the congregation, I Your praises will declare.

All you who fear the Lord, praise Him; revere and glory tell;
All Jacob’s children, honor Him – offspring of Israel.

For He despised not, nor disdained th’afflicted’s suffering;
Nor hid His face from him, but heard the cry which he did bring.

Within the congregation great, my praise shall be of Thee;
My vows before those who fear You, shall be fulfilled by me.

The poor shall eat, and shall be filled; they also praise shall give
Unto the Lord, who Him do seek – may your hearts ever live!

And all the ends of earth shall turn, remembering the Lord.
All fam’lies of the nations shall bow down and praise accord.

For all dominion to the Lord belongs to Him alone.
And He rules over nations all, from His almighty throne.

The rich of earth will worship; all who to the dust descend;
They all shall kneel – none of them can his soul from death defend.

Those who spring forth will serve Him – generations yet to be.
They will be told about the Lord, all new posterity.

For they shall come, and shall declare His truth and righteousness
Unto a people yet unborn, for He has done all this.


Far from a day for new insight, of which I have none, I can only approach Good Friday in the broken English of poetry. Here’s my attempt. I will remain untitled.

Nine in the morning
pardon in breath
exhaling mercy
inhaling death

High Noon rises
justice so bright
veiled in a shrouded
eclipse of the Light

Three o’clock now
light reappears
as breath slips away
from eternity’s years

Finished He cries
Creation now healed
sowing seed of redemption
like Treasure in the field

Into your Spirit
commend outstretched hands
revealing unsearchable
enigmatic plan

See Sun falling
despondent defeat
Sundown friends wrenching
the nails from his feet

Darkness descending
Glory entombed
child of the Virgin
enthroned and rewombed.

We must remember, however faint and difficult it must have been, Jesus sang Song #22 from the cross. Let’s kneel and join him now. CLICK HERE.

J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at jd.walt@seedbed.com.

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.