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 Meysey Hampton church (Cotswolds) has stained

glass fragments pertaining to the crucifixion.  I believe they

were discovered in a barn, sold to the Paul Getty museum,

but have been returned home.

Image result for Meysey Hampton glass

I’m Dismas.


Who the hell is that? you ask.

And where’s the other rogue – the one who mocked?


If I say I’m The Penitent Good Thief,

does that give you a clue?  Through gritted teeth,

I am trying to process a promise

that I’ll be translated to Paradise.

I’d get there sooner if they’d break my legs.

I can hardly breathe for my fractured ribs.


At the cusp of salvation/ damnation,

I turned my face, to see He’d gone ahead.


Some think my pardon was an act of grace,

bestowed because I showed a flash of faith,

but others say it was a just reward,

because I stopped those bandits – and Gestas

(no longer with us) from nicking gold,

frankincense, myrrh from that Man’s family,

aeons ago, when they were fugitives.


I asked then that He should remember me,

should our paths cross again – one day they did.


Well, some say Christ Himself was a Good Thief,

since He stole us back from Satan’s kingdom.

Do two wrongs make a right?  I do not know,

but I am warming to the paradox.


Salvabitur vix justus in die

judicii/ ergo salvabitur.*


I’m a glimpse of your hope of glory.

Hey, you malefactors – just look and live!

Everything else is a heap of smithereens.


I joined Him in Sheol and freed captives,

but, for the life of me, I do not know

what happened to Gestas; nor where he is.


I was found, restored and here I hang now –

unbaptised, but, oddly, beatified,

waiting for my promised resurrection.

Uncertain of what was meant by ‘today,’

but first in the queue to meet St Peter.

Meanwhile, give me a sip of that wormwood

and, since He didn’t want His, I’ll have it.



  • Romans 5 v 7-9

For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die, but God commendeth His love towards us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.