The Eternal Flame: A Poem


Persona Christi, in his threefold office,

Faces the House where the Pillar of Smoke

Made camp, his head by the nails in His feet,


His breath, pulled out of him

By Magisterial force, halts

In petrified ecstasy.


We hear the tailwind-ghosts of ages

Siren past, and a roaring rush;

The branches on Sinai on fire.


An odour of smoldering roses rounds

His shoulder, the haze enfolding a litany

Of salt and innocence.


We melt in the flames like Joan of Arc,

Obeisant as wax to heat; love to passion

And bend as the God-bled words toll.


Silence sweeps through those listening,

Supping. And back, out in the wasteland –

Hearts resume burning.