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Glossing the Monastery Garden

Mary Moore


 

Among panoramas like imaginary

castles and the topiary

box-hedges­­––scenery

 

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––

illusion

 

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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