Ox-faced Luke: a poem for St Luke’s Day

44231259_10217343419320451_8457308505865453568_nOx-faced Luke,
his gospel yoked
to that load bearing
beast of burden
ploughing on
through life’s muddied field

Ox-bowed Luke,
his gospel bulging
muscle of sacrifice
for the lost, the poor
and stranger still
their inheritance of earth


Luke, author of the third gospel, is often symbolised by a winged ox, one of the “four living creatures” of Ezekiel 1 (and Revelation 4). The ox represents domesticated animals. Symbols for the other evangelists are: (m)an(gel) for Matthew, lion for Mark and eagle for John.