A Stony Silence

Forty days in the wilderness surrounded by boulders,
With nowhere to lay his head,
Hungry and thirsty, with not even a raven around,
Though stones could become bread:
Conglomerate of ingredients, compounded
Though not yet transformed into wheat,
Ground down and weathered, kneaded and sun-baked
To become the early morning aroma from the kitchen.
The idea rejected, the stones left silent
To disintegrate into the sands of time.
Rocks picked up, clutched at the ready
With righteous indignation rising in anger,
As though not guilty themselves
Of flirtation that gets out of hand.
Blood-boiling hypocrisy of an impromptu jury
Giving their verdict, pronouncing the death sentence.
Until the ultimate law-giver steps in
Fingering forgiveness in the sand.
The stones dropped, discarded in silent obedience
And the peace of absolution descends.
Dusty feet are cleansed for the journey
Down the mountain, through the olive groves,
Across the stream and up the temple mount
To become what they were by the time they arrive.
But the master rides uncharacteristically,
Uncomfortable with the praise of the crowd,
Though the authorities let them be
Not wanting to hear the stones cry out.
While the donkey trudges ahead
Wobbling up the Roman road in silence.
October 2013
Read the stories behind each stanza: The Temptation, The Woman Taken in Adultery, The Triumphal Entry