An Easter confession



Now I know it is Easter this weekend, one of the great festivals of the Church but, father, I have sinned.

Do you remember all that stuff in the Bible about not coveting things that belong to your neighbours? Their handmaiden, their goat, things like that?

Well my neighbours’ handmaidens don’t want to be mentioned here but they would be handy round the house and no one near here has a goat so let’s leave that one for my imagination.

Mostly, I haven’t been envious of any of the things on that Biblical list.

There is, however, something in this little town that I definitely covet, want, need and really must have but it will never happen.

I know that I am sinning and what is worse, I am doing it at Eastertide.

I covet not my neighbour’s but my fellow townsman’s Magnolia tree. I admit it but there is no point in saying I am sorry because I am not.

It is a wonderful specimen and it is in its full and most perfect bloom this week.

What am I to do?

My garden isn’t big enough for a large tree and, sadly, I am not big enough to wish the owners of this tree well. I hate them and resent them for having such a beautiful plant.

That’s better – there really is something comforting about confession. Should I mention that thought about sneaking over there with an axe? Maybe not – there are only so many things we can be forgiven.

Well as I cannot have this tree I have had to settle for walking past it every day and admiring it whilst its blooms stay there, great cups of cream and purple suitable for the gods’ nectar. Sorry about the pagan reference at this Christian festival. I am not doing well here.

As I write this the petals have already started to drop and I am beginning to feel better. Magnolias have a moment of glory every year before turning into very dull looking trees with small uninteresting leaves. No one would ever guess from looking at them that they could turn, for a brief moment, into anything exotic enough for me to risk losing my immortal soul.

Another evil thought, whilst I am in confessional mode, those people, the Magnolia’s cultivators, will be the owners of a really dull garden for the rest of the year. Hehehe, revenge is a dish best served cold.

Whilst they are sweeping up those shriveled petals, I shall be in my small back garden, celebrating the arrival of the cherry blossom with a good bottle of wine with my real neighbours.Don’t ask me if I covet any of their chattels, I am done with confessions.

Oh yes, by the way, Happy Easter to you all.

Here is the seventh poem in my week-long poetry marathon with some music appropriate or just beautiful depending on your viewpoint, I may write another poem today, not sure yet:

Outside The Cathedral

Santa Maria Maggiore,
Beautiful words for foreigners.
Saint Mary the Greater,
An ecclesiastical code.

O sole mio, Santa Maria.
Arrivederci Roma.
Italian words, so beautiful,
The world beyond the mundane.

Santa Maria Maggiore,
A big church in the middle of Rome.
Grey dome, pigeon fluttered,
In Italian, for me, much more.

Man from Palestrina, maestro!
Wine merchant composer, man of the world,
At Santa Maria Maggiore.
You created the perfect line.

Perfect lines perfectly joined,
In the house with the perfect name.
The sound of the church, forever,
Ah, grazie maestro, perfetto.

The mass of Pope Marcellus,
Missa Papae Marcelli,
Beautiful words for foreigners.
No meaning. Beyond meaning. Perhaps.

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