I Was Given a Golden Shovel Today

Day 28
A hopeful Golden Shovel from September 2021 using Biden’s Build Back Better slogan.

Thank you for the challenge and passing on the Golden Shovel to us today, Fran Haley. I saw your post this morning, and I thought it was a great day to write another Golden Shovel poem.  I’ve been thinking about it and doing a little mental digging throughout my day.

Because it’s Palm Sunday, I made that the topic for my poem using William Carlos Williams’ “The Red Wheelbarrow” poem.

So Much Depends Upon Jesus
Hosanna in the Highest, so
very many Hosannas! It seems there is much
joy filling Jerusalem today, but it depends
ultimately upon
your perspective. It’s not all hosannas…We sense a
burst of red
hot anger–religious leaders reinventing the wheel
of hatred, building a barrow
above the tombs, glazed
sepulchers of envy, with
little hope of Hosannas to rain
peace and justice on the earth. Beside
Jesus’s little donkey, the
fickle crowds also heave their temporary praise, white
hot and later we will all become chickens

A year ago this week, I wrote another Golden Shovel poem using a Williams’ poem, “This is Just to Say

It’s A Good Friday Just to Say
This week started with a parade I
Witnessed. Shouting and waving my palm branches have
Given me hope. Too often I’ve eaten
Of this desire, dreams for the
Future, broken again. Grapes and plums
Crushed into sour wine that
Is poured out and wasted. Were
You informed of this in
Heaven before you agreed to the
Plan? Heaven must have been an icebox
The moment the plan was devised and
Executed. Which
Brings us back to you
Here now getting lead-studded lashes. Were
You tempted to split the earth and let them fall in? Probably.
Crown of thorns, ‘My God” groaning, but saving
Some bit of hope after the forsaking for
A fish-laden breakfast
On the beach. All to forgive
Us, the world, villains, sinners, trespassers, me.
Sour sponge dripping vinegar they
Gave to relieve your pounded nails, pounding head? Were
You aware that your forsaken cries would become delicious
Victory over the grave, so
We would be able to say, ‘It’s Friday, but sweet
Sunday’s coming,’ and
Our scarlet sins could become so
Clean like fire and snowy cold

By Laurie Avocado, CC By 2.0

10 thoughts on “I Was Given a Golden Shovel Today

  1. You’re making a tradition of Palm Sunday golden shovel poems. I love the use of Biden’s slogan in the image. In your poem inspired by The Red Wheelbarrow two images stand out; “ building a barrow
    above the tombs, glazed
    sepulchers of envy,” and the image of “fickle” believers, those twice a year Christians.

    1. Thank you, Glenda. It is becoming a tradition. Last year I wrote my first golden shovel on Good Friday. Maybe next year I’ll write one on Easter! Thank you for yours comments.

  2. Your words are well-crafted and hit hard. Each line bears reflection, each line calls us to closer walk with Jesus. Bless you.

  3. Wow, these are impressive! I’m struck by your capacity to craft the poem to fit your theme. That’s my next destination with the golden shovel. Thank you for these wonderful mentor texts!

    1. Thank you, Sherri. It is interesting to have to use words like chickens, wheel, plums and breakfast. But I guess there is always a simile or metaphor we can make work. I’ll look forward to reading your golden shovel.

  4. These golden shovel poems are terrific! That was a tricky line of poetry for a Palm Sunday poem, I think; you made it happen, beautifully. I am struck by the last two lines,
    “fickle crowds also heave their temporary praise, white
    hot and later we will all become chickens” – that idea of temporary praise is so sad.

    1. Thank you, Maureen. Yes, I sadly feel like I would have been part of that fickle crowd then, for I find myself being fickle today, as well.

  5. These are glorious, Denise; utterly fascinating, the lines you chose and how you spun them so powerfully into Palm Sunday poems of such emotion – and such truth. These Golden Shovels are gifts – and deep, haunting reminders. Thank you so much.

    1. Fran, thank you so much for your rich comments! You have inspired me today–not only to write this piece in the first place, but inspired me again with your encouraging words.

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