Paul StJohn Mackintosh

Writing * Poetry * Dark Fiction * Weird * Fantastic * Horror * Fantasy * Science Fiction * Literature

New poem


The radiant identity
fills every vale; the wanderer,
a knight of the invisible,
explores the open frontier.

Walled citadels on mountaintops
command high passes: pilgrims wend
through snow past chamois hunters’ huts
to glowing inns at journey’s end.

Kings parley under cloth of gold,
contending for a Roman crown;
affronted by the molten calf,
horned Moses flings the tablets down.

Stained glass illuminates saints’ lives
in clerestories; vespers said,
monks gather in refectories:
the golden beer is liquid bread.

Selene’s frozen passion bathes
Endymion’s eternal dream;
dismembered by the Maenads,
the Orphic head floats down the stream,

singing. Ripples of sound expand
across still blue pools in the wood,
the ouzels ‘s mirror. Bills ring on
the hornbeam’s trunk of ironwood.

The sandaled congregation kneels.
Divines cleanse the cathedral air
with fuming incensed thuribles
in mighty gestures of sweet prayer.

Paprika flares on market stalls,
blue monkshood blooms in ruined garths
by chartreuse waters; under slates,
coal fires burn on open hearths

huddled below bleak louring fells
where goatherds lead capricious flocks;
straining beyond men’s reckoning,
Titans brawl among the rocks.