La Magdalena

Guido Reni (1575-1642)-The Penitent Magdalene

Guido Reni (1575-1642)-The Penitent Magdalene

A poem inspired by Michael Parkes’ picture La Magdalena and by extension Mary Magdalene. La Magdalena is a copyrighted image but click the link at the name to see the image that inspired the poem.

The cards of destiny were stacked against me
No hearts or diamonds, only clubs and spades
The scars of my past and the demons of my present
Howl for my skull in the fish town of Magdala
Outcast. Harlot. Sinner. Prostitute. Pariah.
The names and titles I bear before the world
A lover, unloved.
A heart shattered under the weight of misdeeds, real and imagined
No longer whole, but made to be defiled
Invisible to all who might help, a face unseen and a voice unheard
In the dust-filled wilderness of my captivity
No sun or moon or stars to light my way underneath the brimstone skies
A future damned by the past which forced itself upon me and violated my soul
No way to master the rock of my shame
Liberated from the demonic debris of my desolation
From the top of the boulder of an identity I could not remove
I let the cards of destiny fly in the wind
The darkness of the night gives way to a new dawn
Death dies to make way for the fecundity of a new creation
The sinner becomes the saint. The outcast becomes the sister.
The harlot is drawn near by the friend of sinners and tax-collectors
The pariah becomes the disciple
The unloved one will see love itself die and be reborn
For no tomb can contain love
I will be the first, but not the last, to weep tears of joy for a tomb opened
The gates of Gehenna shattered and the prisoners of Hades set free
Freed from having to seek a better past I sit upon the rock of eternity
Watching the beginning of the life of the new eon
Leaving the wastelands behind, I journey towards the horizon

composed Neil White, 2013

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