Easter 2021

“April is the cruellest month…” says T. S. Elliot in The Waste Land. He has his reasons. For me, April teases us with uncertainties, so in that sense, it’s a bit cruel. Just when you think it’s spring, a snow storm cometh. And just as that snow has melted and the temperature goes way above freezing and you step out to that bright sunshine, the brutal wind blows your optimism away and drops you back to sub-zero chill.

Just like this frequent visitor to my backyard. Crept underneath the fence to hide in her favourite spot under the spruce tree, uncertain which coat to wear, winter or spring, white or brown:


Just as our world has lived through a pandemic year, now with vaccines in hand, here come the new waves of variant outbreaks, bringing more uncertainties.

I wrote this poem at Easter exactly ten years ago. At that time I was dealing with a bit of a writer’s block, some kind of brain freeze while facing the real freeze outside. The next time I re-posted the poem a few years later in 2016, I was stressed out dealing with the post-surgery care of a family member. Thanks to all who had commented then, we got out of it slowly and experienced the grace of healing.

Easter 2021 is none like others. Distressful situations have multiplied, their magnitude in epic scale. As with everyone else in this world, I’ve lived through a pandemic year, which alas, still has no end in sight with the outbreaks of variants. And personally, I’m wary even just walking in public, not only for Covid risk, but having to look out to avoid being spat at or punched in the face due to all the unprovoked violence against Asians, or women, or both. Face masks may help protect us from a physical virus, but not that stemming from the human heart. Looking out to the world political stage, looming conflicts breed like a plague.

That first Easter wasn’t a celebration but an execution. A dark day, a torturous public punishment, Crucifixion. It was there in the middle of the world––signifying the centre and reaching to all––one sacrificial death unleashed the power of divine love to save us from ourselves, a concept I’m beginning to grasp as more and more urgent and relevant now. After death came the ultimate miracle, resurrection. That same resurrecting power today can raise the deadest of soul to a brand new life.

_______

An Easter Poem

April is the month of empty dreams
Half the days gone
waiting for words and spring
still frozen ground
and on the screen
a frigid page as white as snow.

Brown could be the color of hope
After the white
for all I know
green is too much to wish for
I’m contented to see a patch
of dry and withered brown.

The sun is a perpetual sign
that there’s still hope
But it’s no herald of the seasons
for its presence comforts all year long
warming my blank and barren state
as I await for words and spring.

But Easter is an apt reminder
that The Word had come
spoken clear to half-frozen ears
His body hung on a lifeless tree
Blood and water flowed
onto parched and dusty earth

So what if no words come to me
That dreaded writer’s block
reigning the winter of sterility
numbing senses,
snatching thoughts,
seizing any sign of spring.

It’s not about a post or a blog,
Or even buds and melting snow.
The Word had come
lived and loved among us,
broken, bled, died and rose,
melting frozen hearts to greet
a new dawn and eternal Spring.

–– Arti (April, 2011)

________

That historic Event in the past overrides all uncertainties in the future. He is risen!

HAPPY EASTER!

Published by

Arti

If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

15 thoughts on “Easter 2021”

  1. Happy Easter Arti!
    The only thing I am holding onto about the past year and months is this: “all is well that ends well.” And I believe it will all be okay.
    I survived Covid-19, a broken ankle, a blizzard, and the vaccine— and now that April is teasing us with her sunshine, I’m ready to move forward with life, my garden, and a new President. I do like Joe and Kamala!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Your poem’s wonderful, Arti. Like all good poems, it’s stood the test of time. There’s no telling what the next decade will bring, but like your poem, we’ll endure by God’s mercy.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Your poem is beautiful. OH, I wish it didn’t mean the same now as then, more or less, but boy, is it still sadly relevant. I’m sorry you have to add the concern of bigotry to those of health. It baffles me, the cruelty and ignorance of so many. I would have thought Canada better than that. But I hope you still had a lovely and meaningful Easter. (I love your brown and white bunny. I’ve never seen one like that and he’s adorable!)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We have an early spring this year, so this poem’s late coming of spring doesn’t apply but I feel more acutely the general despair and the need for that Hope. While less serious than what had happened in Atlanta, there are many cases of verbal abuse and physical violence against Asians in Canada too. This is unthinkable, in 2021! I’ve been living here for over half a century this is the first time I see things as bad as this. As for the rabbit, she changes her coat according to the seasons. Winter, fur changes to white, spring back to brown. This one has both because she’s in transition. I see her from my kitchen window all the time. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I loved that you included much more than just that He came and died. There was a full life there and even more thereafter — for all of us.

    Also, interesting to see how your climate affects impression of April. It’s a glorious month here — the heat hasn’t settled in, new growth started weeks ago and now in full bloom, and so so much color.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Of course, Easter is more than just ‘He came and died.’ The resurrection is what makes it all worth it, the coming, the ministry, the persecution, the death. I know April must be beautiful for you, considering December isn’t bad at all in your neck of the woods. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely poem Arti. We are having an upsurge of COVID in my area because of the variants too. Just when it seemed like maybe we were over the worst of it at last. I am so sorry you have to ad feeling unsafe from racism to COVID stress. Sending hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Stefanie. How I wish we could do just that, hug! Here, we’re back to stage one restrictions due to the third wave. I’ve only had one vaccine shot. Due to the shortage, I’ve to wait for four months to get my second! Hope you’re doing well and have both shots in your arm already. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. We are starting a fourth wave here. Sigh. James is fully vaccinated but due to more people than vaccines, I have not been able to get vaccinated yet. Hopefully soon. That’s terrible you have to wait 4 months for the second shot! I hope you end up being able to get in sooner!

        Liked by 1 person

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