Monday, August 10, 2015

On the Feast of Saint Lawrence


Martyr

A blood-red ember-glow
grows
to a fullness within my breast
as though Mars had been captured in glass,
removed from the dome of moonlit sky,
and set free below to frolic among dry sticks
at the woodland's edge.

Mars, of war.

And I am flame that rises like a fountain
from a candlewick consumed
and a raging river of fragrant wax,
and my effulgence fires the eyes of those who watch
and of those who keep their distance.

In a moment I am gone,
yielding to triumphant dawn
like the pink streaks of morning's first light,
and in the wake of my radiance
ashes
to color the hand of man.

~August 10, 1990

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This is a poem I wrote twenty five years ago in honor of Saint Lawrence, the great third century deacon and martyr of the church of Rome. It is reproduced here from my personal papers.

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