The Roman administrators came for the wealth of our worship
demanding that I crack the church's coffers wide open
for their needs, for the Empire's desperate embellishments,
in place of gold I presented the poor
I told the onery officials that these people of our Faith
were the profits of our labors, of our Light,
when they realized that our monies were out of reach
they reached for I and roasted me alive on this gridiron
my body blackened for the book of your love Lord...
I carry this timber of my torture in sublime humility
to testify not to you thy Christ,
but to reveal the tumultuous glory of our Family's gospel
to the multitudes that are now rising in wonder
at how far the Future sees into the Past,
at how well the Messiah reads hearts,
I was crucified on an X by request
because I believed in this very moment...
From the wilderness to the clear waters of martyrdom
I carried, and held the star of your Becoming,
you once asked me Jesus, what the voice of God sounded like
to which I said,
like truth walking upon smooth fire,
we both found the good fire didn't we,
and now the good fire has come to speak again...
You are not the only ones to speak to Father
Adam and I knew the spark of His love
and the weight of His wrath
when the sun was young
and judgement theoretical,
I am grateful to be here
many of my daughters are here with me
but I have daughters below too
their punishment pains me...
I remember when we buried our dead in secret
when our society was a prayer in the shadows,
I remember the awful yet awesome quietude of the catacombs
thinking to myself that every persecution
could put us one foot deeper in the earth
or would elevate us one foot higher to the heavens,
I tried to serve both Rome and the Christian Cause
as if I could satiate my body's impulses
while sanctifying my soul,
the Emperor discovered the design of my empathy
had me strapped to a tree where the arrows bled me...
As a girl in Alexandria the archives of the world
were at my virginal fingertips,
my father, the Govenor, said I was born with the soul of a scholar
and the touch of a tender teacher,
by the time I was fourteen I had a reputation
as a truth talker, a mind breaker,
summoned to Rome at sixteen
I humbled the haughty henchmen of tough tradition
with a taste for thunder and a case for Christ,
and when the Caesar put my supple body
upon this spiked wheel
my spirit it did not shred but instead
brought the cruel deep dread...
The cost of converting a king was my skin,
this knife taught me how salvation begins,
one swift slice at a time,
we must remove the pelt of vain pontification
shed the dead delusions of ignorant indignation...
I had the scriptures combed into my back
with these quills of insensitive steel,
after the pagan mob's frenzy was fed
and I lay in the dirt bleeding psalms
until the panic and pain in me passed away
I realized that I was not a victim of savage violence
rather, that I was being rescued and rewarded
for my heart's honest diligence...
The seals are snapped
the trumpets teething terrific tornados,
the Horsemen have hurried to the heights and the hollows,
Wormwood has awoken to the Whore's woe
Her tongue is scarlet, cut from the thorns of Her own roses,
Babylon is pregnant with the blasphemous Beast...
At the Last Supper you saw the suspicion in my soul
and the rooster did rile me for my wretched weakness,
I wept as if naked in death
but in your patient wisdom you knew that this searing shame
would serve to strengthen my will
that I would indeed become the fisherman of holy fire,
I went to Rome after your immaculate Ascension
took the Word straight to Nero
turned the smirk to a jerk
brought Simon Magus from the sky to the cement
and laid the temple rock on the spot,
take back the keys and show'em what's up...
Is this forever Jesus,
is this going to be forever my Son...
I am the Law of Love,
I am the living wrath of the Word...
You are Christ, the living Gospel...
This poem is inspired by, and dedicated to Michaelangelo Buonarroti's
Last Judgement fresco painted on the alter wall in the Sistine Chapel.
25 years after painting his Sistine ceiling masterpiece he came back
to create his own vision for the Christian prophecy
of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the ensuing Last Judgement.
The dramatic depiction is marvelous, fresh, divinely passionate.
There are more than 400 faces and figures
alive in this great work, which required six years to complete,
two more than it took for him to paint the massive ceiling.
Michaelangelo was 67 years old when he finished the masterpiece.
As with my poem, The Sprigs And Spirit Of Sistine, this composition
is intended to be coupled with the Last Judgement he painted,
to honor it, and to give the work Voice. To fully appreciate
this poem one should familiarize themselves with the Sistine Chapel,
and to even follow along, image to image, body to body,
voice to voice so to experience the inspiration and spirit to a maximum.
I began composing this composition on May 7th, 2018,
and through the grace of Providence completed it on May 23rd,,
at 10:52 pm. Approximately 44 hours of intellectual labor
was invested into this work...Justin A. Bordner
Copyright © Justin Bordner | Year Posted 2018