El Cristo de Carrizo

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El Cristo de Carrizo

For Tanya Cliff

“Contemplate this crucifixion.

Each time you sin
you plant a fresh
thorn in your savior’s

Each misdemeanor
spears the sacred side
or hammers a nail
in hand or foot.

Christ lives in you.
your daily misdeeds
nail him daily to the cross
he bears for you.

No death, for him,
no resurrection:
just an everlasting hanging
from these nails you daily drive.”

13 thoughts on “El Cristo de Carrizo

    • Ignacio de Loyola, basically; the Spiritual Exercises. The poet I was studying at the time (Francisco de Quevedo) practiced them and wrote about them in two separate poetry collections that he later joined into one. The 1613 manuscript is the most famous one: El Heraclito Cristiano.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Mr. Cake. I wrote this poem in the Convento de San Marcos, Leon, now a five star hotel, that houses a museum of the Road to Saint James. I was walking the Road at the time (1979). It is indeed a Golden Oldie. My poet, Francisco de Quevedo, was imprisoned there from 1639-1643. I asked to see his prison cell and they showed me a luxury suite on the top floor. His biographer said he was imprisoned below the level of the river and that he slept on a stone bed. When he awoke in the winter, his hair was frozen to his stone pillow. The Cristo de Carrizo is a small ivory sculpture, about 11 inches in height. The head of Christ had been broken off and was used as the handle for a gentleman’s walking stick. Head and cross were rejoined recently (early twentieth century). The Christ has braided hair and is possibly Mozarabic. His large eyes are open, so he is still alive, and he gazes back at the pilgrims as they gaze at him.

      Liked by 1 person

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