Lying beside the navy River Seine
was the gate of the Lady of Heaven;
her warm Madonna smile was bread leaven
to all who loved her son’s essential vein.
There was no forged crucible with blood stained
hands, without being pierced by his brethren,
for he was one of us; we were forgiv’n
by his very heart despised, sapphire reign.
There—a ring of unending gold as fire,
a melodious sound came from the wood
of relinquished cross, now crucified stone
played on the third morn as a fragrant lyre
of old, the pages were turned as we would
in the valley of a prophet’s dead bones.
What word would speak and raise the spire to sky;
what hope would glisten as the morning dew?
There was a church that blazed its colours true,
its linen crevices were indigo dyed
and hailing from Europe, the prayer would rise
that from a deity drew kingdoms new,
to rest upon the heads of saints glass-blue,
quiet patience and perseverance tried.
I would repeal the curse that rests bereft
beneath my hand, for I the ink and quill
that wrote each word of scripture was one
that stood in souls of time with my request.
I would not break or violate your will
lest you asking lack something, come undone.
The organ thundered out, we lift our chant
within Our Lady’s alabaster stone,
with the rushing river by the island’s moan;
the true living remnant would not recant.
The prairie grasses of Miscanthus,
Pennisetum, Stipa, with flowers grown
as Echinacea and Achilleas’ throne.
The iron of this sanctuary rusts
its bounty in the hearts of those who sing,
their low carol carried o’er the threshold
where other flowers tarry due nearby
and their waxen perfume unyielded stings.
But the brocaded ceilings were of gold,
and song's sound mingled with the tears and cries.
A flame towered in the dark, its blood spurts
with a vice of midnight, now dying blade
that from a steel sword swiftly did away
with all mild dissidence and fear of hurt.
We were no more, we grandly, cursed
the ground we had once walked upon, in sways
of lowly field, and reveled lovely-made
from vestments of the air that saline pursed
the tide upon the beach of Paris’s front.
She was wont to be wearing red, silence
brought tidings of her reputation forth;
she was a queen of the night, took the brunt
of their insults to death. Knights took violence
from strangers of other realms to gain worth.
There was a hint of burning cinder there,
beyond cathedral’s leveled paradigm;
there was the sound of sun and moon resigned
where pigeons roost in alcoves of star air.
What were their last words as these silver stairs
filled with smoke from some guilty humankind;
a glass of lemon water with the rind
sat on the old wood table with no care.
There was no fault, no blame in stone was set,
no blinding flame has seared our coral minds—
their deep porous thoughts, staid with minerals.
But now our hearts, reduced to ash, are met
with dark realities of other kinds,
the Gothic spire was once ethereal.
Not one pale stone was left upon the next,
and so no crucified corpse remained there,
there was no evidence in dragon’s lair,
only an ashen kind remembers text
from a burned down Bible’s vast lexicon.
If I was to pour pure oil in my hair,
the fruit of virgin olive break and tear;
would be on coming out with pearl drop glass.
The poorest girl would now hit the high notes
and circle as a falcon, bird of prey,
for you thought to make them victims of class,
you hoped they would try calling you, emote,
and fiery burned them to the ground that day.
To raise the dead from every ladened curse,
the gargoyles, covered with soot from the fire,
return to the oak of youth’s golden spire,
remember the covenant you made first:
to love no other but me, lest you thirst
and drink of another cistern, you tire—
the level of purity I require,
too difficult for anyone but Christ.
So he will be your prize, your figurehead,
he will be set on high, and in the rocks
of hellish night, where burns your soulish branch.
There entered not one tree to this blood-red
rose, just a child came by with blond dreadlocks,
swung under a Maritime Pine, then blanched.