War and History Poetry posted April 7, 2015 Chapters:  ...38 39 -41- 42... 

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A Story Poem

A chapter in the book History and Myth

Pontius Pilate

by Treischel

Pontius Pilate was a Roman known for the words he said
At monumental meeting with the Lord, the bible read.
"Are you the King of the Jews?" was his question, venom baited.
"Truth, what is truth?" he responded to what Our Lord related.
"I can't find a fault in Him", had this Prefect rightly stated,
But Jesus was a person that the Jewish leaders hated,
And long before this time, Messiah's future had been fated.
"Shall I release this Jesus, or Barabbas in his stead?"
While people shouted "Jesus is the one we wanted dead".
Reluctantly, "Crucify Him", were words disciples dread.
"I'm innocent of this man's blood", he washed his hands instead.
"See here the King of Jews", words Pilate nailed above His head.

What kind of man this Pilate was? A sinner or a saint?
He knew Our Lord was innocent, but killed Him anyway.
His soul forever tormented with unforgiven taint?
Did he not care a whit of qualm, or come to rue the day?
The answer lays within the torrid tales his legends paint.
This man, born in Besenti, Gov'nor of the Jewish state,
has complicated endings the Apocrypha relate.
Notoriously ruthless, he's the cause of much complaint.
So much, an angry Caesar took this Prefect's rule away.
Before the Emperor Caligula, forced to acquaint.
Beheaded or exiled to Gaul, the historians say.
What happened to his body is enough to make one faint.

They say it never decomposed or even got decayed.
The tale of its disposal really wasn't as expected.
They tossed it in the Tiber, but his handlers got dismayed.
The waters boiled, the spirits raged, his body was rejected.
They took it to the Rhone, where waters once again forbade.
It seems that body, cursed by God, remains always convicted,
Confined to chilly torment, where it can never be displayed,
In cold deep waters at Lucerne his body stays protected,
Waiting silently below, its final Judgment is delayed.
Instead it must perform the righteous punishment elected,
Emerging to wash his hands again, to have his guilt allayed.
On Good Friday, that very day our Jesus was convicted.

To wash his hands, to wash his hands, he stands in shoreline mud
Beseeching once again "I'm innocent of Jesus' blood".

I was curious about whatever became of Pontius Pilate, so I looked it up. Wikipedia has an excellent coverageof him. It seems there is confusion about his birthplace: Besenti in central Italy, Frontigall in Scotland, Tarragona in Spain, or even Forchheim in Germany. They were all places occupied by Rome. His death and final resting place is even more intriguing. When his mentor Tiberius died, he was recalled to Rome by Caligula in 41AD for a hearing into all the problem issues that his harsh leadership caused. Some say he was striped of his rank and exiled to Gaul, where he committed suicide. Other insist he was beheaded and his body was thrown in the Tiber river outside of Rome. I recall here a legend from the Mors Pilati (Death of Pilate, an Apocrypha text) about that incident. His body may be in Vienne at Pilate's tomb, or at Lucerne in a lake at Mount Pilatus.

The Eastern Orthadox church debated whether or not he should be considered a saint, due to his reluctant role in God's sacrificial plan, but rejected the idea, although they do consider his wife, Claudia, a saint.

I attempted to write this poem in iambic heptameter (14 syllables) using some feminine lines. Each stanza has 12 lines. The rhyme scheme is complex and mixed:
aabbbbbaaaaa cdcdceedcdcd fgfgfgfgfgfg hh.

This picture was taken by the author of a water bowl with drips agitating the water on July 21, 2012.
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