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
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
Call out for the dead, mark the London doors,
a plague on our house which the politic adore.
There is no cure, no treatment, but Gods,
their calls for death, Grails and Jihads.
Our children see men doing harm unto others,
our children are assured that God is among us.
This waking Sunday, more holy work,
tell me of a sermon using honest words.
“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,
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 ]
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.