Everyone has certain settings or narratives they're drawn to, and I have my own favorites that for whatever reason, always reel me in. The stories of South Africa, whether told through the eyes of an Alan Paton novel, Nelson Mandela's autobiography, the poems of Mzwakhe Mbuli, or a U2 ballad, always make something in me rise up and raise my hands in the air.
The same fascination is true for certain passages in the biblical narrative. One of those, The Temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, has always intrigued me. The forty days in the wilderness has long been a Lenten theme and is often used as a motif and a point of meditative material for the long weeks of Lent leading up to Easter. I've been spending some time with it, and have three poems to share. I'm calling it, a little dramatically, Wilderness Triduum. Three days, three poems of wilderness.