Holy Saturday Streets

Inside me

Are the streets of Jerusalem.

Sun on the old stone stairways

And the baking air.

Inside me

Are the high walls and the tumbling flowers,

Vivid as a clarion call in a net of leaves,

Red and pink in the thorns and prickles.

Even the plants must arm themselves

Against the night and the harsh demands of day

And yet it is always the sunshine that persists,

Delights my inner eye.

I feel the peace of Sabbath streets

Within me

The Jewish Quarter vertical with praise.

The men are hurrying to meet the Bride.

They circle with a dance of joy by the Temple wall

As the night falls

It is already night when joy begins

The Sabbath is at hand and a beautifying surplus of soul

Visits our mortal bones and lingers on.

A light of resurrection

A climate of unchangeable joy

And I rejoice in the springing up

Of the eternal tale.

He walked and spoke and lived

He died and lived again

These streets bear testament to His being here.

The Bells of the Triduum ring.

We hurry to the Russian church.

The tapering candles held

To the glimmering faces of the radiant saints.

The choir from Moscow sings

Deep-throated harmonies at the very gates of hell.

These Christ has touched by His all Perfect Presence

His all-emptying Praise.

Obedience calls him to so great, so vast, to such abysmal fall


And yet a royal progress through the chaos of the soul

Man’s soul and deeds since sin first entered in,

Commenced its tearing and dismembering work, enacted by the hands of men.

He walks there now

A world more vast than all the earth’s globe utterly destroyed

And still he has no power to ascend

He walks and powerless he waits

Till there alone the Easter dawn appears.

A flake of light

As gentle as a solitary leaf

Falls like a kiss upon the metal hell of death

A forest full of leaves of light blow in like a rivening flame

The second chaos soars with hope

Breaks forth with a roar of joy

Who is this King of Glory?

O, lift Higher Ancient Doors!

And let Him enter, Who has come

To claim and take us home!

Sarah de Nordwall February 21st 2013


  1. Ah – I long for that first flake of light, like the watchman for daybreak.

    Thanks for some delicious verse, Sarah.

Comments are closed.