Friday, November 14, 2014

The Honied Buttresses Of Light Uphold

[to St. Joan of Arc]

the honied buttresses of Light uphold
the dream cathedral where the reluctant King is crowned
no longer evading, disguised

and testing her surmise
but even in her dreams she stands apart
legendary beyond all powers

cast in a rose and lilied art, shadowed by her saints.
no longer the maid of private hours and orchards.
no longer for her the intricate shade
of the Fairy Tree of Domremy

but she must leave, Heaven sent
with the white tree scattering
hopes of Home, sweet petaled farewells...
in battle,bright as the banner she unfurls
we imagine her but barely,
anticipating wounds and then, the end or victory.
but surely I think, (reading as a child)

 there must be some mistake.
a maid so mild
there must be some escape.yet
how could she dream this full a betrayal
kings and clerics on every side: deriding,
relentless inquisitions, fire and no flight at all

taking centuries to recompense- but hardly-
with statues, with ceremony
the songs of the little French children
laying wreaths.

oh grief.

the girlhood lent and savaged
with a cruel intent
where she meant only kindness, flowers,

holiness of nations.

mary angela douglas 14 november 2014 rev. 23 january 2018