Striped with a scourge’s stigmata,
On the middle tree of three,
Was nailed a naked man
Crowned with a wreath of thorns.
A board above his bloodied head
Titled him ‘King of Jews’, but this
Of pornographic cruelty
Clearly mocked such regal status
As he hung – agonisingly
Spiked through wrists and ankles –
Suspended from those gruesome nails,
Exposed to prurient regards
And butt of vulgar ridicule.
Some stories say
That he survived because
He was immortal, God’s own Son,
Destined to rule the universe
For all eternity;
But other evidence suggests
He died in abject misery
Upon that sanguinary tree.
Let all believe the outcome that’s preferred:
Alive or dead, his influence endured.
J. A. Bosworth