Psalm 22

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not;
and in the night season, and am not silent.

But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.

They cried unto thee, and were delivered:
they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

But I am a worm, and no man;
a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

All they that see me laugh me to scorn:
they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,

He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him:
let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

But thou art he that took me out of the womb:
thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts.

I was cast upon thee from the womb:
thou art my God from my mother’s belly.

Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.

Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.

They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.

I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint:
my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

My strength is dried up like a potsherd;
and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me:
they pierced my hands and my feet.

I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.

They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me.

Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.

Save me from the lion’s mouth:
for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

I will declare thy name unto my brethren:
in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.

Ye that fear the Lord, praise him;
all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.

For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.

My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation:
I will pay my vows before them that fear him.

The meek shall eat and be satisfied:
they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.

All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord:
and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.

For the kingdom is the Lord’s: and he is the governor among the nations.

All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship:
all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him:
and none can keep alive his own soul.

A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.

They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born,
that he hath done this.

Psalm 22 [King James Version]


Three Versions

Take one   [sonnet]

I set out riding once at dusk, by bike

riding a cemetery’s tranquil trails.

God’s wonders peeking forth from evening veils

I mused along vague themes:  Life—and suchlike…

Rounding one swift curve a vision assailed:

three nubile maids in nylon, fresh from the pool.

passing this trinity, I—the mad fool,

Beheld three graces; reverie prevailed.

Midst sepulchers I wondered at such sights…

Was I Paris?  dazzled by their beauty,

my mind’s eye grew distracted in duty.

The resurrection glimpsed: angelic sprites !

(the third go-by my thoughts fell down to earth;

carnal, I scanned their suits of flesh for worth…)


Take two  [rhymed couplets]

While I rode out one summer eve through a cemetery’s peaceful  cheer
I chanced upon three suburban maids in Lycra swimming  gear
fresh from the pool among the tombs… or fresh from the tombs to revisit earth?
Arrested now my thoughts, I passed in resurrected beauty’s birth.
My sight and mind strange tricks did play. I couldn’t believe my eyes
amidst the dead, upon green paths, I lingered on their graceful thighs.
I pedaled fast and asked the Lord: what brings such lovely damsels here?
Around I rode, then passed again. As visions surged, the heavens drew near.
A little further now they’d strayed from where I first had seen them. Then
their brightening smiles stopped time.  And so I passed them yet again…
Distracted now from holy thoughts  I mused upon their girlish faces
[Thus Paris faltered before the three, confusing goddesses with graces]
What led them thus to flit so much alive among the verdant graves?
A thousand questions surged that verged on blasphemy. Still Paris raves
of lissome bodies on the grass, the bright-eyed smiles of lovely lasses
naive in nylon innocence, like Botticellian trespasses
But they were simply walking home, and took a shortcut through the grave
and they were young, but now I’m old—and a dying renaissance knave.

Take three

Early dusk graveyard:

Three nubile girls, wet swimsuits

Life resurrected 

Waiting for Resurrection

Waiting ForMagic

And when he came into the house,
he suffered no man to go in,
save Peter, and James, and John,
and the father and the mother of the maiden.
And all wept, and bewailed her:
but he said: Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.

And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.

And he put them all out, and took her by the hand,
and called, saying: Maid, arise.
And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway…

[from the Gospel of Luke 8:52-55, KJV]
Waiting for magic…
A man of the world, but lost in a dream / You look at something from a different angle
But I exist – I’m waiting for you / In a coffin made of glass
Kiss me baby I’m attractive Baby get to know me / Show who you are
Give me that music, baby I’m eternal /Lying in a coffin /Waiting for you
In your dream a girl is dancing close to you (that girl is me)
Once a witch made her sleep but a prince will wake her up (it’s you)
Kiss me baby I’m attractive Baby get to know me / Show who you are
Give me that music, baby I’m eternal / Lying in a coffin / Waiting for you
Waiting for magic… ♪♫♫
Kiss me baby I am Snow White sleeping in a coffin / waiting for you
Waiting for magic, baby I am Snow White sleeping in a coffin / Waiting for you
Waiting for magic  (it’s what I do…)
Waiting for magic…  (for me and you, ohhh – kiss me baby wake me up !)
Oh, Kiss me baby – wake me up
Oh, kiss me baby wake me up – come on baby…
Kiss me baby I am Snow White sleeping in a coffin / waiting for you
Waiting for magic, baby I am Snow White sleeping in a coffin / Waiting for you
Waiting for magic…

Why I like this text:
This song plays with themes of Snow White/Sleeping Beauty and enchantment but it can be taken further – to ideas of eternal recurrence, resurrection from the dead and the power of sublimated desire searching for the eternal feminine… all happening in the virtual discotheque of your mind.

I love Ace of Base. There is haunting melancholy in their lyrics, and depth to their songs under a seemingly superficial techno surface. It is conducive to a Nietzschean reading – but also lends itself to a Christian interpretation… in a disco sort of way.