Jesus Was a Man of Colour
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character."
Martin Luther King, Jr. August 28, 1963, Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.
His life began with electrified air over Bethlehem:
shimmering curtains emerald green, aurora red
with sapphire threads and gold from His Father’s
glory slipping through the midnight from heaven’s veil.
His face was olive and brown and joy. His smiles
were many colours—they’d paint anyone’s face the colour
of love, even now through those immortal pages inked
in his blood, the colour of sacrifice. Sorrow comes
in shades of crimson and purple. The robe He wore
—variegated and seamless—lay at the foot
of the cross where the soldiers gambled for it.
In the fury, when the ground rumbled, what tore
were the curtains in the temple; all the stars spilled
to the ground, they were sewn into cloth, the fabric
of heaven. Sky darkened black & blue, and remorse,
but glimmers of grace started seeping through.
Remember the colour of hope, the pure crystal of it,
rainbow after rainbow, when floodwaters subsided?
Remember, the Blessed Hope will quench the flood
of lies. Remember the Man of many colours
who is the Son of God, who knows no colour, except
the colour of your heart.
John C. Mannone
John C. Mannone has work in Blue Fifth Review, Poetry South, Peacock Journal, Baltimore Review, Windhover and others. He won the Jean Ritchie Fellowship (2017) in Appalachian literature and served as the contest’s celebrity judge for the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (2018). His third collection is Flux Lines (Celtic Cat, 2019). He edits poetry for Abyss & Apex and other journals. He’s a retired physics professor living in East Tennessee. http://jcmannone.wordpress.com
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