Miriam Among the Lilies: A Poem for Easter

Taken at Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Bryan

photo by Shawn Chapman

 All night … I looked  for the one my soul loves; 

I looked for him but did not find him. 

I will go through the streets of the city, 

I will search for him my soul loves. 

The watchmen found me as they made their rounds in the city.

I asked them, 

Have you seen my love?”  

The angels pitied me.

They said to me,

“Search among the lilies…

He is not here!

He lies not in darkness

Nor in the folds of the cloth.”

But I could not breathe, so sick was I with love,

So I asked the gardener,

“Where have you taken him? Tell me!”

“Woman,” he asked,” why do you weep,

Your beloved is yours and you are his.

He feeds his flock among lilies.

…Miriam… Mary!”

“Rabonni!”

I rose, a rose unfolding, lilies opened at my feet

My love was so complete, my love was so complete

Grave flowers sprang up living, blossoming at our feet

Our love was so complete, our love was so complete.

In that love, I found him, I held him, and I would not let him go.

“Oh! Come to me, Miriam!…but cling not

Don’t grieve for the world past and gone..receive my Heart

Receive the Lily!”

Oh woman who brings the great tiding to Zion

Get thee to the high mountain…

Lift up your voice with strength

Be not afraid, say unto the cities of Judah,

“Behold your God!  Behold your God! Behold your God!”

That Miriam found among the lilies.

* See: Song of Songs 3: 1-4a, John 20:11-18 ,Song of Songs 2:16, Isaiah 40:9

Photo by Shawn Chapman

Photo by Shawn Chapman

Note:

The relationship expressed in this poem is in the Catholic tradition of Bride Mysticism, explained here http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09703a.htm

In no way do I intend to present any other idea about the life of St. Mary Magdalene, but that which the Catholic Church believes and teaches about her through Scripture and Tradition. (See http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09761a.htm  for a history of the Church’s thought on St. M.M., “Apostolora Apostolorum” Apostle to the Apostles)

  • Rachel Gardner

    So beautiful Shawn, thanks for sharing! One of my favorite hymns is “Woman weeping in the garden.” I love the way you folded scripture in with your own words – so lovely. “When the gardener calls you Mary, faith and joy meet in your eyes!.” (from the hymn)

    • Shawn Chapman

      Thanks, Sweet Thang, :) I have never heard that hymn, I will have to look it up!

      • Rachel Gardner

        You should!! I just tried to find a video, but no luck. The sheet music is posted several places however, so if you’re musically inclined you should try it out! I think you’ll like it! :-)