Wednesday, June 8, 2011


(Photo: Engel auf dem Friedhot, Sandramat, Oct. 2006, GNU Free Documentation License)


Long ago,
Before the New Age vogue for them,
I heard a bearded poet
In a battered leather jacket
Say he “had a thing for them;”
He loved the marble statues of them,
Sad and solemn,
Posed forever among tombstones
In the old Louisiana cemeteries.

More recently, I heard
The spoiled young daughter
Of a well-to-do churchgoer
Say she “hated” them;
Anyone who’d own an image of one
Had no taste. She looked smug
In this judgment.

When I was younger
And more literal,
I pictured them
With feathers; they were men
Whose shoulders sprouted
Giant pigeon wings –- no, gull wings,
All white, made
Of bone and muscle, and yet
Giving off faint light.
I wondered if they made a sound
Like birds.

Now that I have seen them,
I know better
Than to try to fit their likeness
Into words.
All I know
Is that you only call on them
When you are really desperate,
And that the sight of them
Will turn a young man grey,
And that the shattering vibrations
One feels when drenched in their presence
Leave you deeply shaken,
And forever chastened.

-- (C) 2011 by Jack Veasey

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