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

(All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced or duplicated in any form without the author's written permission. )


  1. Thanks, Pax. I appreciate your support.

  2. I like the solid voice and concrete details. It makes the ethereal more animal. Thanks.

  3. You're welcome. Thanks for your comment!

  4. This is a wonderful poem, and it evokes the weird world of Rilke's "Duino Elegies," where he says "Even one angel is terrible." Your real-life examples of people with angel fixations are a great leaping-off point for your ruminations. A very fine poem!

  5. It never ceases to amaze me how often angels are depicted as cutesy, dressed in pastel colors, etc. We really have lost our sense of the supernatural as terrible. It's the same with faeries -- anyone who'd actually investigated their folklore would find them way too sinister a subject for a garden ornament!