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Below are poems written by poet Bob Kimmerling. Click the Next or Previous links below the poem to navigate between poems. Remember, Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth. Thank you.

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CENTURIO ROMANUS SUM

Centurio Romanus sum,
et nolite flere non commovebitur.

I am a Roman Centurion.I do not weep or tremble.
But I have wept some bitter tears before this end of week.
Yes, I have wept some bitter tears hot rolling down my cheek
that wet my bed and wet my beard as I was losing sleep.
 
My Soldiers aren’t well bread,
uncouth brutes who spat and struck his head
and thorns were stuck until he bled
and blood, blood soaked his plucked beard red
and on his scarlet robe dark stains of blood appeared. 
 
It was my job, just a job to carry out my orders,
to execute, to crucify.
I was immune to pain, to any anguished cry,
to pleadings from the worthless lives
of those about to die.
It was my job, to put a man to death,
to take his clothes, to take his breath,
to cast his broken body by. 
 
But as my soldiers cast their lots,
And gambled for his seamless smock
and mocked him with sour wine,
just at the time of sixth hour watch,
as he was near his final breath
and was not long before his death,
the sky turned black, the sun had gone.
 
Two rogues hung there beside him,
at first all full of insult,
‘til one, who recognised his wrong
then turned and made a plea.
"Kurios!", he said with great respect,
"Lord, please remember me
when you come to your kingdom."
 
And then his words surprised me,
with great compassion in his eyes,
“Today you will be with me,"
He said, "Today in Paradise.”
  
 
Centurio Romanus sum,
et nolite flere non commovebitur
 
I am a Roman centurion.
I do not weep or tremble.
I was right there in front of him,
his eyes looked up to heaven,
He spoke something to his father,
asked that I should be forgiven,
and then he soon gave up his ghost,
and surely, was he not the most
unusual man I ever put to death,
not one curse or pleading breath,
save once he said I thirst.
 
I've stood in front of many,
but surely he was the first
to chill me to my soul,
to make me ask just why
this righteous man must suffer,
must suffer and must die, 
 
But then sky drew dark,
and terrified my heart
and as I looked and sat
at ninth hour of the watch,
and rocks began to shake,
so also I began to quake,
as darkened sky, and splitting rock,
made portent for his death,
with earth's each trembled shock.
 
And when his head had dropped,
and all his writhing
and his breathing stopped,
I cried out; 'surely this was the Son of God.'
And then my soldier came,
intent to break his legs
but seeing him already dead,
he took his spear instead 
to thrust and prod
into his side where blood
and water flowed,
flowed right down to the ground
and those around him beat their breasts
and slowly disappeared,
save only for the sound
of wailing women,
kneeling, quite near here.
 
Centurio Romanus sum,
et nolite flere non commovebitur.

I am a Roman centurion.
I do not weep or tremble.
My chest has kept a calloused heart
more years than I remember.
But now my shield is stripped apart,
my tears are freely flowing.
A sword is thrust,
and makes its start
on all that is worth knowing.
That life I pinned to wood and bark,
in me is surely growing.
 
Romanus sum centurione.
Ego plorantibus in consolatione,
et tremitis ad verbum tuum.

I am a Roman Centurion,
I weep, and at His word I tremble.


Copyright © Bob Kimmerling | Year Posted 2021

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Date: 3/26/2021 6:27:00 AM

WOW! I love this! Once I started reading I couldn't stop. The rhythm and flow of your words and the story you told drew me in and wouldn't let go. This one is going in my favs, Bob! Blessings, Kim M

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