August 13-15, 2019


barren landscape

dry, brutal, hopeless

hate has its home here

this place where death lives

on this ragged faced mountain

gives its voice to angry screams

thrown along willing throats

hurling curse and insult

laughter and scorn

upon three men





this hate fuelled mobs



they yell

they taunt

they mock

waiting for men to die

watching the weight of their sin

push them into their graves


as ebbing lives

unhide deaths horrific shoal


their own lives ebbing


hate is rampant

on this bleak and lifeless rock

above these empty caves

it smiles joylessly

as death draws close

collects its due


at the center of hate

three men

helpless and naked


slowly, painfully, cruelly

anguish streaks their bodies

every ragged breath

a desperate struggle to live

even a little bit longer

life clings

with a rip-out-the-finger-nails grip

against this cliff face of hate

futilitys hopeless despair

tormenting the tortured souls

slowly losing their fight


before it ends, one

staring death down

as were a thing tangible

come close enough to seize

desperately fights a foe

too quickly overcoming life

hopelessly bears a pain

too slowly finishing its task

this one begs The Man beside

to be remembered

when He enters His kingdom

(stark counterpoint to the other

who also dies

yet scorns the Life so near beside)

one desperate lunge

at a life just now seen

hoping against all odds

to land in His care


in deaths tightening grip

for His answer


“Today you

will be with Me

in Paradise”


and death loses its power

has lost its hold on him

he knows His promise

though he will die

yet he will live

with Him!



Life from the very jaws of death


Love defeats relentless hate



faith overcoming death

even here

where death has its home


A poem by Peter Rhebergen

Copyright 2021

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