This Easter we’re releasing four poem videos and seven interview videos (stay tuned for those).
Here, though, are Glen’s three stand-up poems about Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Words are below…
A funny thing happened on the way to Jerusalem
So there’s this guy who says that he’s God.
And he’s not a fraud. He is the still centre of sanity
No sliver of vanity, Purest humanity.
But he’s God.
And he needs you to know that he’s God —
God on a mission —
He’s got a real Messiah complex.
The original condition.
A messiah complex with a death wish and that’s the joke.
Cos when he spoke his claim, all would complain, crying “Prove it!”
And he says: ‘I’ll show you I’m God, Watch me die.’ Which is odd as a sign of deity.
But he doesn’t just say it, he hurls himself fierce at the grave,
Declaring that this is the behaviour of divinity.
He’ll assert his infinity by choking to death, to croak his last breath in rasping benediction.
He’s the Fountain of Life and the clearest depiction His conviction’s non-fiction is a cry of dereliction. One hell of a crucifixion.
There’s this guy and he’s God and he must die, on this he’ll insist.
It’s the item on his bucket list.
He’s Messiah with a death-wish and
While for us the goal of “Dying” would represent a distinct lack of ambition,
For him it’s his mission.
To be slain as a Lamb:
He said “When I’m lifted up, then you’ll know that I AM.” That I AM WHO I AM.
Then you’ll know it’s not a scam.
To see him damned by earth, hell and heaven
Then comes recognition: here’s the definition of glory.
So in the story this King marches to his throne,
his face set like stone,
to ascend the hill, and assert his will, to reign in state.
Protocol dictates he should ride a steed,
Of noble breed, perhaps a stallion, and, behind, his battalion and so to his office accede.
But here’s the thing. This King rides a donkey. Or two ––
So Matthew reckoned, he remembers a second,
An old cloak laid astride these poor brutes side by side.
So picture the scene. Lining the road: Israel’s people and priests,
And God all-precarious atop these two beasts.
A royal charade,
A half-assed parade.
And they’re hailing him King,
And he looks like a fool, And still he rides on, the irony cruel
Cos he knows that the crowd enraptured in praise
Will bay for his blood in a matter of days.
But still he rides down this road, he cannot be slowed,
On this trajectory locked, he will be mocked and forlorn,
His figure torn,
Crowned by thorns,
With nails adorned,
Enthroned in scorn,
His kingdom borne across trembling shoulders.
And yet on he soldiers.
For this is his divine vocation,
Decidedly not an assassination,
Somehow it’s his coronation,
Because here the Fountain is comprehended
When we see it full-expended,
In death the Life-Spring, crimson poured
Becomes the proof that He is Lord.
So on he rides in asinine glory.
Easter is a funny story.
A funny thing happened on the way to the execution
Did you hear the one about the God who croaked?
It’s kind of a joke.
He’s this bloke, shows up broke,
Among downtrodden folk
Spoke truth, full tilt, words spilt,
He’s a Jew doing stand up with a northern lilt.
Built worlds with his words, provoked laughter, stoked rage,
Awoke guilt in the powerful then to assuage,
But his schtick uncloaked the crowd, pricked the proud,
He ploughed dangerous and deep. To the core.
And history saw that when Truth is so uncouth as to speak, we freak.
In frenzied violence.
We’re proud to be woke but when God spoke, we choked him to silence.
That’s the joke.
Heaven came preaching, earth would not hear
We said “Shut the hell up”,
Which was his whole idea.
He said: “I’ll set you free”, so we put him in chains,
To teach him who or what on earth really reigns.
So God goes on trial,
the file against him’s thin, but they pile in.
Accusers line up through the night,
yet none turn out to line up right,
And all the while God pleads the fifth,
An Adamantine monolith.
He will not baulk.
They knock, they mock, they hurl their mud against the rock,
Nothing makes him talk.
And not one accusation sticks,
Except, the one he fixed upon from the start: He’s God.
Well case closed, he has to go.
What’s he done? None can say
But for who he is, God must pay.
Here’s the shock: the Judge is put in the dock
The guilty sit on high
And make their verdict: Life must die.
The Truth is held in contempt of reason.
The King convicted of high treason,
And to cap it all, their genius trick,
God’s declared a heretic.
So the Mover of worlds is pinned to a stake,
His thirst unslaked,
His life-blood taken
He turned his cheek, earth clenched its fist
And hammered heaven’s Pacifist.
And the man who drove the nails, the soldier who impales his Maker with a spear,
To him it’s suddenly clear, however odd:
This is what it looks like to be God.
Not a thunderbolt hurled,
Arms wide open to the world,
Forgiveness unfurled to his murderers.
This is God. Covered in blood.
This is Good.
Good Friday, if you credit it,
Good news, if you let it.
A good joke, if you get it.
A funny thing happened on the way to the tomb
This’ll make you smile,
So God’s dead.
Not the most fertile ground for comedy,
But stick with me a while.
God’s dead, he bled out on Friday before dusk, a husk of a God,
Buried in sod, planted in a virgin tomb,
An unpromising womb but I guess that’s his style.
Now Saturday was a holy day, and anyway everyone needed a rest after killing God,
So they put a day aside to recover from the deicide,
Which brings us to Sunday.
And there are some women who really want to attend to God’s corpse,
because of course it’s bad manners to have God rotting in the tomb.
You should at least perfume the cadaver,
so they have a journey ahead.
And as they tread this path they disregard pretty much all he said,
Because he told them he was God and death could not hold him.
So if any were believing they would not be grieving,
They’d presume that service would soon resume.
They’d camp beside the tomb and wait for God to self-exhume.
But no, no-one believed God, not even his believers.
We can’t conceive a Higher Power really.
Not higher than the grave which will devour,
That’s the One to make us cower.
That glowering conqueror of light.
It’s never lost a fight.
Each extinguished breath,
Declares that death is Lord.
It’s scored a victory over every rival.
At God’s arrival we briefly entertained a doubt: ‘Maybe Life’s in with a shout,’
But on Friday he was out for the count,
and we went back to perfuming our cadavers.
Cos all we have, it seems, is corpse preservation regimes.
And so these women resign themselves to a truth alarming:
Even God requires embalming.
And then, it’s empty.
He is not there.
Not in the place where he lay,
Not in the domain of decay.
Death made its play,
But God made a bolder move.
None dared believe it,
But now, NOW they’re crying.
Life has killed death by dying.
He’s Devoured the beast that swallowed him,
Crushed the abyss by falling in,
Destroyed destruction from within.
The Seed’s burst out on Easter morn
The Son from the virgin tomb is born
The valley of shadow receives its dawn
And a hole through death is forever torn.
And these mourners look through, to see Him.
And to see Him is to view Home.
Home shorn of thorns,
Home reborn, Home adorned with golden hue.
On Easter Sunday, this the view:
It’s country walks and heart-warming talks,
Mind-blowing preaches and breakfast on beaches,
Feasting and family and peace and grace,
And Jesus our Battle-Scarred Brother, face to face.
Maybe we came to the tomb to pretty a corpse and honour the dead.
But today instead we meet a living God.
And so, with a tremor in our voices but steel in our bones,
We dare to step on the monster’s neck,
As it writhes under a Victor’s blow.
And in the face of hell we bellow:
O Grave, Where is your victory,
O Death, Where is your sting?
We sing the happily ever after.
Here begins the Easter laughter.