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‘He Awakes’

  by   Mark Olivero

a meditation on the Book of Job chapter 3


His soul awakes from silence

now spinning in a blackened trance. 

Grief choreographed.

“What’s he saying?”

It’s just Job lamenting about his hour, his day.

It is his moment of bewilderment;

his chest crushing eulogy

to good fortune lost and lost in ruins.


But Job’s cry is every man’s cry.

Its rhythm is universal.

It is eschatological.

It’s prophetic for all who hear

his words since their first tolling.

It’s a dirge for all who have gone

before him to the grave.

Our griefs compressed in his song.


This is the crying of the ages;

one long weep around the globe. 

Somewhere now someone is crying

for death has… 


Everywhere someone is crying

for the death of something –

a good idea, a fortune,

a youth sweep by time,

a marriage torn apart, health ravaged

by abuse or disease, ambitions shattered –

– someone gone.


Like a slaughter lamb Job bleats for me;

with my unskilled tongue – all I can do is

cry – I’m not alone.  He speaks

beautiful poetry in mid-stream of horror;

bleating under the same cloud of grief

which cast over Adam and his wife

when they polluted the colony. 

They, hiding behind a stupid bush,

Job, on heap of garbage outside the village – both

screaming from their depths – “What

have I done?


have I


The nearest star catches the wave of

their cry and throws it back.

Are there better days ahead? 

Who knows?

At this moment who cares.


But in our pains we forget mercy. 

The kind of mercy God gives us to live

through His Drama.

Yes through – –

– – but slow.

Mercy to awake to life;

mercy to witness the power,

the sheer power of the divine;

divine mercy on the outer edges

of our grief.


copyright2010-Mark Olivero – all rights reserved – copying prohibited.


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