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Glossing the Monastery Garden

Mary Moore


Among panoramas like imaginary

castles and the topiary



that invites circumambulation––

clouds and robed persons

wander the garden.


They mesmerize me. The devout––

innocent of doubt,

loving without


proviso or dread––

dream of holy bread,

not wine but God-besotted.


But I, forefinger, thumbs

numbed by the beads, glum,

find I am


only a lover of the laburnium.

Its blue torches flame,

the racemes


proof, res natura, Deus sive

natura.  The fountain’s sieve

dazzle and spill


becomes commotion––

blood and water, an incarnation––

no––the ardent


pour of red from the statue’s

sacred heart, the Son’s

only issue,


seen through the fountain’s

transparent distortion––



not annunciation.  A Freudian

fountain?  Apparition

gushing in the hushed garden,


the gism of deity?

Any god of sense

would prefer this abundance


to heaven­­­­’s––these laborers

who never perfect prayer,

their words leavened


by mortal breath, buoyed

on the human brew

of need, grief, joy.


Any god would prefer the sensible

body and blood

to the stone of a deity


who died away from flesh,

who ascended from the blush


and lushness

of desire into that airless hush.








Mary Moore has published most recently in magazines including Connotations Press, 2river view, American Poetry Journal, Prairie Schooner, New Letters, and Nimrod.  She teaches poetry and Renaissance literature at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.
A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure. - Henry David Thoreau


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