Maundy Thursday MMXX

by Sam Slater

My thoughts rise to that prosperous peak
which overlooks the mighty and forlorn;
a silhouette each year, to draw us up,
before the rising lamp which lights the hopeful dawn.
If my unwashed feet could plant, tonight,
upon that holy hill,
my eyes would watch
the sun descend to Mann;
over mine-scarred hills
and out across the sea;
behind reservoirs and folly-laden heather.

Lie back, lie back, lie back!
and look above,
for now we know that
man controls the weather:
all the sky’s a stage
as we’ve removed our nightly scar;
performances are free to all –
Stage left! Here comes our artificial star.
A year ago on Calvary my outstretched fingers
reached into mystery, the tips slipped on the sweaty stone,
unseen, and with Greek nuns nipping at my feet,
eager, my knees trembled on the hard stone,
rocked, and my newly-anointed hand took its palm,
pushed, so I regained the steady posture of my feet,
then planted before Greek nuns reciting sweaty psalms.

Sweaty palm on forceful sweaty palm now.
Recited woops and yelps are carried on applause,
down the valley and deep into the night,
beyond the horizon where, far above,
solitary men zip isolated through the sky.
Tomorrow may be good but all must stay home,
and think of places we have been;
partake in common worship, faithlessly;
and keep wholly quarantined.
Of the men above who see all the world
in half an hour, I think we are alike;
they have the earth, and us – the Pike.