“Old Man’s Head,” Jan Metejko, WikiArt.

Part 1: Father Tristan’s Translation

Evening, wooded Ireland farmland trails,
Hooded figure fast-walking, steps running,
Chest pain-heaving, at my feet collapsing.
“Sister Muriel, this manuscript deliver to
Father Blàthan,” monk gasped. “What is it?
Asked I, ever fearing advance of Norsemen.
“Gospel of Mary Magdalene, Greek translation
Unfinished.” Who are you, father?” “Tristan,”
He answered. Pages as claimed, ink-stained
Fingers. “Take my crucifix, love and word of
Christ be with you, guiding heart and hand.”
Last breath, thus were his dying wishes.

Help of farming family, buried Father Tristan
In sunny glade, anonymous grave, marked
With piled stones, spiritual journey’s end,
Far traveler, returning to Irish homeland.
Candlelight, I read first pages of this furtive
Gospel: “I had known him from beginning,”
Began Magdalene, “man and god as one, he
Took me by my arms, peered into my soul,
Changed me inside and out, in ways only
Women know. By baptism, I was transformed,
His follower, loving companion I became.”

Mary Magdalen, I realized, knew Christ in
Ways beyond disciples’ understanding, such
Intimacy, Christ’s divinity, Lo! Thunderstruck
I was, voice of Father Tristan guiding me:
“Read, Muriel, but to safety of old friend,
Father Blàthan, his island monastery, away
From hands of ridicule, destruction.” Father’s
Crucifix I wore round my neck with mine,
Two crosses joining in love of Christ, father
And sister in sacred service. Morning light,
I strove toward Irish coast.

“Egyptian Water Carrier,” Jean-Leon Gerome, circa 1882, Wikiart.

Mid-day resting, fear traveling, revelations
In wooded depths, I read more. “Today,
Miracles performed, feeding gathered crowds,
His sermons, fish and bread. Yet, were baskets
Filled as they surmised? Christ smiled at me,
Saying, ‘We provide sustenance to their souls,
Hungering for God’s word, salvation seeking,
Each in his own way. I am the door, many pass
Through, regardless of beliefs, they enter freely,
Heavenly father knows each heart: pagan, non-
Believers seeking life’s greater meaning.’”

New poetic series of historical fiction, basis of which is
fragmentary “Gospel 
of Mary.” For more, see these links:
Thanks for reading.

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