Believers’ Verse — and win a book

I bemoan the fact that if, as often said, poetry is the “stepchild of the arts,”  then Christian poetry is the stepchild most readers would like to disown.  I don’t blame them. But I still write poetry.

Joseph and Nicodemus

(John 19:38-39)

What a disheveled heap

This bled-out bone bag makes

Crusted with spit and sweat

Entrusted with threats to the two of us

The workman’s wiry muscles, now slack

Are pitiful as they break through the flayed skin

But the blood – it is all gone, tired of flowing

Clotted and forgotten at the dirt footer of

The flogging pole

And of course

That cross

We avert from each other

But we cannot stop our own tears

Squeezed out between our eyelids

That should shield us from what we see here:

The candlewax pallor

The shamed nakedness we wash and cover first

To give the modesty the audience denied

Our towels dipped in the pots

We lugged down the stairs

The water pinks now

In the lamplight

Part by part

Limb by limb

We dampen and rub away

All the vestiges on

The shell of a delivered-over spirit

One of the winding cloths rolls below the ledges

We reel it in and wrap his arms

From the swaddles on our grizzled forearms

We have grown wrinkles under our tears

The weight is almost beyond our old-men strength

We heft and lean

Balance and wrap

The acrid spices

The confined space

Bring more tears

More tears

We find we do not need

The water any more

–copyright, Latayne C. Scott

If you’d like to be entered in a random drawing for a new 2010 Christian Writers’ Market Guide, including CD (Tyndale, 2010)

just enter your name and email address in a comment section below. (Since the drawing will be random, no response to the poem is necessary.)


  1. Donna J. Shepherd
    Jan 14, 2010

    Thank you for your thoughtful and thought-provoking prose.

  2. Bathsheba Dunbar
    Jan 14, 2010

    Would love this book!

  3. Ed Decker
    Jan 14, 2010

    you are a poet and know it. you da best..

    send market guide soon almost ready to find a good agent for my mystery novel..

  4. Suzanne McKinney
    Jan 14, 2010

    Great poem – last line is dynamic!

  5. Donna Lemke
    Jan 15, 2010

    donna lemke

  6. Lauralee
    Jan 15, 2010

    Thank you for this generous giveaway!

  7. Would like the book and did like the poem. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Diane Moore
    Jan 15, 2010

    Heartfelt poem.

  9. Steena Holmes
    Jan 16, 2010

    I’d love to be entered for the book.

  10. Carmen Sandman
    Jan 17, 2010

    It’s beautiful and thought rendering!

  11. jess
    Jan 17, 2010

    I’m probably too lagte for the drawing (hope not) but also wanted to say your poem is wonderful.
    Keep writing the poetry too!

  12. admin
    Jan 19, 2010

    Congratulations, Donna Lemke! Please send me your snail mail address via the “contact” function in the upper right hand side of my site! And happy writing!

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