In the end we have to state
that no agreement was reached.
His stubborn opposition to compromise
was never breached.
Talks went on through the night
to meet Friday’s deadline.
Even the governor was woken early
But no peace formula was found
at the eleventh hour.
Between the princes of earth and of heaven
there will be no sharing of power.
Every effort was made
to break down his reticence
but he would not join in any talks
and maintained his silence.
The release of prisoners
was the final opportunity.
It is reported that he did not take advantage
of the governor’s offer of clemency.
for the six o’clock news.
The communiqué displayed says simply
He is the King of the Jews.
On reflection it is clear
his agenda had been set from the start.
He planned a suicide mission
against the strongholds of the heart.
He did not negotiate with sin
when matters reached their head.
He would not de-commission his arms
but spread them wide instead.
Written for the multimedia event Love Reaches Out (1998) on the weekend of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland, which prompted the sustained metaphor.
When performing this poem it may be read as if by Pontius Pilate's press spokesperson.
© Godfrey Rust, firstname.lastname@example.org. See here for permissions.