Agamemnon’s Rest

Jesus’ blood ode to tragedy.

by COLIN MACINTYRE

Five centuries before Christ, a trilogy of Greek plays called The Oresteia dramatized the slippery slope of retribution and revenge. In the first, a rhetorical question is posed on the hopelessness of redemption, for

Once the black and mortal blood of man,
Has at his feet been spilled,
What spell or chant can call it back?
So Zeus hath willed.

Here is one answer to such tragedy.

AGAMEMNON’S REST

(a slam poem)

Blue blood,

Blood kin,

Mixed blood,

Bad blood,

Blood up,

Young blood,

Blood feud,

First blood,

In cold blood,

Blood trail,

Blood money,

Blood lust,

Rinse, repeat.

But Jesus, in his life-blood,

poured out a song with better words and

a Justice more certain than

Athene’s spear (or Abel’s cry).

For the cross is none else than Abba’s voice

calling back every other fallen drop.

And all the shame and all the guilt that

God first clothed with skins (his strophe),

was re-woven in Christ down redder veins,

‘til, echoing across æons first to last,

his Body redressed every fiber of

our shared and brutal past.

Now, you and I,

lads and lasses of Sophia,

with inherited spells and more variety

than a hundred pantheons,

lift up our own epode to Joy,

singing mercies new, and good news every morning —

Blood-forgiven.

For in him all the Fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things, making peace by the blood of his cross, whether the things on earth or the things in the heavens. (Col 1:19–20)

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