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with Jesus

The Second Word

Dr. John Ashley

The first formidable

word gave voice to wonder —

the first cloud and rush

of thunder

after summer’s drought.

The first green blade,

and shaft winged to kill —

and they’re chasing still

on the cave wall

in Wadi Hilil.

Yet down the years lay in wait

a more discerning word,

the most profound, which

gave meaning to wonder —

one early morning

near Gethsemane,

when Jesus said ‘Mary’.

No tangled cipher here,

such perfect aim and flight.

the consummate ambush

and death of mortality.

This poem was published in the March/April issue 2013 of the Dominican magazine Spirituality (Dublin). In the poem Ashley links an experience he had when living in the Sahara with another experience whilst living in Jerusalem.

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