Mary Magdalene, Peter Paul Reubens
Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”
The garden is not grateful to the gardener.
The bud does not cry, 'Open me!'
Darkness untangles its threads of light without God's fingers,
filaments of pollen spilling from the reckless void.
The gardener is grateful to the garden.
Only you unfold this petaled radiance, your heart.
The Goddess may entice you with a thrush's song.
The Master may foreshadow the blossom's shape.
Christ may enfold you in the fragrance of April.
But you do your own awakening.
Hang brightly on your stem of thorns.
Jesus will rise and appear to you in the morning.
When he reaches out his hand to pick you,
don't mistake him for a God. Jesus also thirsts.
You are the garden. He is the Spring.
Others arrive by many paths to bask in your tint.
They imitate it on their lips and cheeks.
They ask you, 'How did it happen?'
Your silence answers, 'Open yourselves.'
You would like to tell them even more...
that if the wildest poppy could speak it would share a secret:
this body's weightless blossom droops in the dew of desire
as soon as you attribute your opening to an Other.
Therefor when scent arises from the nameless stamen inside you,
don't cry Thou; unfold secretly, midwifed by the moon.
Stones will roll aside at the tomb of your heart.
No power bows them but green, gushing from death.
Seeds break open alone; no one knows what they feel.
Then Mary comes. You speak her name, not yours,
so that her silence may explode into petals of fire,
just as yours did.
LINK to hear this poem read.