Sunday, November 1, 2009

London Poems

Westminster Crypt

Gothic halls and pilastered colonnades,
chapels cluttered with the tombs of vile Anglo kings.
Visages engraved in stone,
Latin blessings for the tyrants of the centuries.
And through it,
among ancient buttresses and underneath high rib vaulting,
sunlit by high clerestory windows,
a murmuring unholy mob,
faithless and faceless as the moldering.
Blaspheming this place as the dead stone pagans never could.

Cloisters where once walked Benedictines in their meditations
now lined with laymen fat and blabbering,
in whose sight this temple - a mausoleum.
Monument to a dead god and his slaughtered son,
to an age of dim ceremony and rituals whispered from sacred texts.
To a time and a place long since fallen into the earth,
so that this dwelling place of god is made a dripping crypt

Cathedral Light

The land here is flat,
far to the horizon without mountain or sea;
as if for not but the cloud wall my eyes could peer into infinity.

From high atop this byzantine spire I see all the paths of man,
cutting across the earth and sky.
And again, ringed by storms approaching,
sun swallowed up by that grey Olympus above the earth,
unto me there comes a hope.

Some divine love in the dim and reeking chambers,
searching me out and undoing all my barred gates.

That here he should come to me again,
that in this place should I see that by which the world is righted.
Mind and soul rent open and poured into the stone gutter
The sodden candle I was so desperately attempting to light
washed beyond Styx in a bloody flood.

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