Michelangelo in Pieta

The master in pensive face
Caressed the marble with a deep sigh
And the hammer began its dialogue
With the chisel in his young hand.

Michelangelo in Pieta

By Joe Palathunkal
As the white marble piece
Waited for the lucky touch
Youthfulness smiled in his soul
Prompting to turn his chisel into a pen
To script the greatest poetry on a stone.

The master in pensive face
Caressed the marble with a deep sigh
And the hammer began its dialogue
With the chisel in his young hand.
As the cuts became deeper and deeper
Many faces from ancient sculptures
Passed before the man from Caprese
And his soul sang a divine song into the marble
To bring out the body of an young carpenter
On his mother’s lap.

As if in sleep remained the carpenter
In the grip of a mother
Who sang the Magnificat.
Calvary’s brutal nails should not have their say,
Hammer told the chisel
As the great master’s mind
Bubbled with life-full thoughts.
No big nail marks
Nor the pain of the cross on the face of who said
Don’t cry for me but for your children.

And in Golgotha when darkness fell
This young Italian saw light of divine beauty
Shining over humanity
And the intimate embrace of the hammer and chisel
Liberated Pieta to teach the alphabet of liberation
That the cross can never silence the one
Who carries the eternal voice of Abba
And through the rooted feet of Jesus Michelangelo said:
“He came here to be with us on this earth.”
But through the other feet a little lifted he said:
“He is ready to walk with us
Who is the way, the truth and the life
And he will march ahead
Than all the armies that ever marched.”

But the grieving mother did not have a drop of tear
And serenity and beauty adorned her
Whose son made her the greatest mother
In heaven and earth from a manger and a cross.

She was asking all of us
Through the greatest sculptor of all times:
“Why are you looking among the dead
For the one who is alive?”

(Joe Palathunkal is Associate Editor, Living in Faith)

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