Smoke Over Paris

Their Lady of Paris burnt
in one online afternoon
Her re-imagined spire
tipped to robes of smoke

like a bloodied lance
in surrender – once more –
to politics and holy battles
in a kindless fog of war

Her heated metals ran
as dark beaded sweats
from her swealing heights
to leave cooled scabs

of Saint Thomas – and others –
spattered across worn stones
under her collapsed transept
Those slabs will be saved

with high relics – rescued
from clouds above la quatrième
No puzzle of scattered ashes –
France has her couronne d’épines

The Flood

There’s a shifted density in the landscape
following your biblical month of rain –
It has been days and disturbed nights –
a battening of doors and shutting-ins

My chosen path is tread-thickened soup –
the mossy velour on my usual pew
is now an orbicular stump-top sponge –
my meditative place is soaked right through

The dripping leaves of the common hawthorn
are plated to silver and bent in prayer
by the salty weight of God’s squeezed tears –
here funnelled from him by the doctrinaire

Where my path rises with logs as steps
the deluge descends in no need of grip –
making me turn to take another route
to the higher ground where your boat should sit

In your clearing – of the sawn and fallen –
you list in pairs and shout deaf-ear orders
finding many gone – or now missing –
‘I have to postpone my plans for The Flood’

Your holy fable finds a level in puddles
where water pools in the lowest place –
and in the clearing there is no Ark –
Others will say when the seas are raised

Stephen Fry on Entering Heaven

“How dare you create a world
in which there is such misery..”

Fry cast out the kids’ cancer gifts –
sent forth by the tri-ghost ministry:

“Why should I respect a capricious,
mean-minded.. god?”

Thus he spake on R.T.E.,
tipping an Overman nod.

“The god who created this universe..
is.. clearly a maniac..”

No Stephen Fry tweet,
but a character attack.

“We have to spend our lives
on our knees thanking him.”

And the Gardai burnt time
on Stephen Fry’s meme.

[Original story here ]

Witnesses

I look to them, graveyard-aligned
in our sped view, forever left and right,
on the journey back from Otsuni;

anchored in the red earth, those groves,
set free from the interrupt of stones
by the cast of the rotivator’s throw.

I count, without enough numbers,
the great twisted variations of
olea europaea
, those fixed olive trees:

Once shadows over Christ’s agony,
witnesses to his betrayal in three,
there as the shade in Gethsemane,

that which the Dutch artist sought
in his own lunatic star-field view,
in the daub and press of other oils.

I am told that the drupes are cultivated
between their green and purple state,
added to, altered, to make them black.

I know the shape well – bulbous
beads, like the sweated blood,
(Luke), from the pores of Christ.

We arrived at the house, set in a grove,
the venerable trees continue their telling,
blown by the wind, of that old song of God.

The Flood

Evangelina Chamorro Díaz
climbed, primal, from the flood,
risen from muckled timbers,
smothered in Creation’s mud.

Heavy oxen struggled for land,
as Jesus Hidalgo filmed the girl,
some held out calloused hands
to return her to this world.

The deluge, instructed by God,
heaven-sent to test belief –
the sunken cattle didn’t know,
because God is a lying thief.

Evangelina Chamorro Díaz,
on slowed limbs from that slime,
an ascent of natural selection,
proving God isn’t on our side.


Story here.
Video here

God’s Acre

Weddings and funerals, in the rare trip-place,
butted stone markers, dropped fags, and ill-grace:

Here Lies.. (A.N.Other) her time out-of-date,
alongside the latest, a brief recall in plate.

Our churchyards cursed by poets-come-thieves,
those poachers of hymns, and cheats in belief:

Let them stride loose, between slabs, low laid,
the church a salvation for those on crusades;

a theme park for tourists, a tick on their list,
a walk with the dead, shot quick on phone-sticks;

slowed-up in the aisle, as their eyes look to glass,
God’s kindles of colour can’t be caught on iPads.

In the yard scans the poet, as the thief wanders wide,
he is often disturbed, God is not on his side.

The Vicar of Newick

I drank with God’s labourer
in Newick, last night,
him without dog collar,
instead with a pint;
he regaled the fire-sided,
with joyous laughter,
as he heated over coals –
a forestaste of life after?
There stripped of his woolly,
sweated in the snug,
if Heaven were on earth,
his Heaven’d be a pub.
The last time in The Crown
we met up with Christ,
bearded, skinny,
a nice Jesuit type;
but that wasn’t God’s Son
who stood by the Vicar,
but a Nazarene-alike,
a slim, bearded hipster.
The Spirit was stronger
later on in the bar,
a quart of Jack Daniels,
over pints of Dark Star.