Lou Davis

print & pattern, rhythm & ritual

The Ballad of Nicodemus

Poetry
Theology

I came to you at night

quiet fingers knocking on wooden shutters

lamp-light beckoning an invitation

a golden glow on olive skin

you took my words of opening

and swept them out of sight by your response

wafting away pleasantries

pinning my heart with your perceptive words

you spoke of birth and life and flesh

and as I sat silent

my spirit danced with possibility

synchronised with you

I spoke no words of how I’d changed

wrestling with a deeper love

I would have saved you

yet I kissed you with a worse betrayal

than that of your hell-bound confidante

I came to you once again

bearing perfumed gifts

not this time, from a king

nor from a woman with tears in her hair

but this exuberant embalmers robe

of myrrh and aloes

rich and sweet

I placed over your shoulders

as your would-be could-be never-to-be-spoken-of love.

 

 

© Lou Davis 2015

 

Last year, my friend Sarah and I took a rainy day trip to Glasgow to think about pharisees with Padraig O’Tuama. I was particularly taken with the character of Nicodemus, and on the three small tales we have of him; one visiting Jesus at night for a private encounter, one not quite managing to stick up for Jesus in the face of peer pressure and finally buying an overwhelming amount of herbs to embalm him in death. I let my artistic licence run loose a little and wrote it up as a doomed love story.

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