First Light – A Poem for Easter

First Light – A Poem for Easter

As we journey towards the Resurrection, we share a poem, First Light by Edmund Matyjaszek…

 Moving among the olive trees
It seemed so simple to assume
He like I had come to do
Some duty at the place of tombs.

I carried a jar; he carried none.
I looked around; a pile of leaves
Raked to a heap suggested he
Had set to trimming the spring trees.

Neatly the olive, single-trunked,
Stands in the soil; then twisting, curved,
It tangles into its awkward shape,
Its light pale leaves, its hard fruit

That gives us oil. I smiled then stopped –
That sudden lurch. I felt faint.
My world had gone. He lay there dead.
It was all I could do to prevent

The cries. I bit my lower lip
And bowed to the silent tall man
Standing – no, moving between the trees.
The sun was shining; momentarily blind

With its glare I passed to go inside,
Suddenly realising the stone was moved.
I thought of the man, the gardener
Then saw the cloths unrolled

And reeled outside. He was closer.
I felt no fear as the cries began.
I knew no shame; they had taken
My Lord. “If you know, if you can….”


It was a garden like no other,
Not morning but the cool of the day.
Everything still, everything light.
There was something I felt I had to say

And tried to remember.
He has gone.
All his words I still recall.
But what I remember is the first light,
His moving between the grey-green olive trees, silent, tall.