Dr Peter White's Blog

Thoughts and comments from Dr Peter White -- political, philosophical, spiritual, musical and more

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Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

I am retired from the Uni. of Queensland, and have numerous interests inside and outside of the uni. I play classical, bluegrass, country and folk guitar (hows that for a mix?) I am a member of the Australian Labor Party and am currently branch secretary of the Mt Coot-tha branch. I'm also involved in developing virtual reality builds and websites. Never bored!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Easter 2010

A number of years ago I wrote a poem for Easter when I was active in the St Mary's Catholic Community in Brisbane. Much has happened since then, but each Easter I do recall the Pascal story, and also my great respect for Jesus the teacher. Leaving all the centuries of dogma and superstition aside, I still believe that he had a fantastic message to give and we would do well to live by it.

So, as I was walking up the mountain behind our house today, looking at the wonders of the Australian bush, I remembered the poem, the story, and thought it would be good to share it again with readers.

To remind myself, and to put the poem into context, I wrote it as if the idea of Jesus descending into Hell (as the Nicene Creed so nicely puts it) and freeing humanity from the despair of Hell, was true. Here is that story.


My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?...
And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and died.
                               (Mark’s Gospel)


Down to the pit. The newly dead Spirit
With shadows of wounds and a halo of thorns
Stood stunned in the place where the dead went. Aware of
Life’s loss, and the terror that this was the end.

Gloom and the thought of a hideous future
Seeped from a gate made of iron and bone,
Darkening, tainting the Spirit’s numbed senses
As slowly he walked through this cavern of grief.

Magnet-like forces surrounded the Spirit
Drawing him in through the skeletal gate.
And truly he felt the tragical wisdom
Of the words that he cried from the cross where he died.

Faster and faster the forces impelled him
‘Til finally they dropped him in the Hall of No Hope.
And the gates slammed - a final salute to the memories
Of a life lived in wonder and a death stained with shame.

"Greetings, O Lord," came a voice from the distance,
Poisoned-touched words which amplified loss,
"You should have listened when we spoke in the desert,
But your foolish beliefs have now brought you to me."

"And here you will stay with these millions of others
And you will be joined by more millions to come.
Forget about bliss! For now and forever,
I have you - enslaved. And the victory is mine!"

Battered and beaten and hollow with grieving
The Spirit slumped broken and begged for an end.
But bellowing laughter was the Hall’s only answer
Then silence, then silence, and he cried in despair.


But deep in the core of this newly crushed Spirit
A razor-fine knowledge slashed through the despair.
A sparkle of light that glowed in his centre
Grew eager, grew brighter with love and resolve.

"I am not forsaken!" The Spirit cried gladly;
"These creatures of gloom and these wrecks of the hopeless
Are simply the works of humanities’ thoughts.
And the essence of love will shatter their dreaming."

Awe filled, the Spirit then knew its creator
And knew of the task he was given to do:
To free all these slaves, to banish the hatreds,
To shatter the walls of the pit of despair.

Ecstasy glowed and the radiant rapture
Of the Spirit in tune with Creation’s own Mind
Poured forth the light and the love of the Cosmos
To blast away darkness and shatter the gates.

As light filled the cavern, a million souls saw
A path of compassion to lead them away
From the blandness of evil and the false, shackling credos
Which held them imprisoned and cheapened their lives.

"What have you done?" Came a cry of deep anger,
"You have destroyed what the law says must be.
These are my spirits for now and forever.
Their freedom is gone when they enter my realm".

"Begone!" Cried the Spirit, "Your empire’s finished.
No more shall the dead or the living be slaves.
My word on the earth and my word in this cavern
Shall guide all the people to oneness with God".

Songs of rejoicing and light filled the cavern
As newly freed souls formed a bond with the All.
The Spirit then moved to join with the masses,
His work was now finished. And he could come home.

Easter, 1995

© Peter White