Tag Archives: joan of arc

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway

The sun is coming up, and those ruined waters are deceptively pure.

On and on over the lake, to the city below the sea, hopeless, so unsure.

The sky is wide open, and the clouds are wine dark, and slouch away.

I listen to the news, another mass casualty shooting, what good to pray?

 

Emily sleeps beside me, finally quiet, and like all angels she is unquiet,

and fearful, and plagued with nightmares, because love will not deny it

when blood is spilled and innocence taken and it’s all just a fucking mess.

I am her priest, the one to wipe away her tears, to listen to her mourn, confess.

 

Just the highway raised over water, and that water off into every direction.

Emily insisted we drive all night to see St Joan in the French Quarter, a connection

to why I became a priest, and why she didn’t give up on this misbegotten race.

I dreamed before her, unadorned and broken, and that she tenderly touched my face.

 

The news is off to another grisly death, to the stock market, to the hottest winter in years

Christians can’t write psalms anymore, pushing down every doubt, choking off all tears.

Emily’s vibrant blue spiral bound notebook is filled with the drawn blood of aching faith.

To follow God is to be beaten down and tired, trying for a fix to get by, oh Holy Wraith.

 

Emily stirs as we leave the water separating heaven and hell, heaven and earth.

The statue is a totem, made holy in our hope, in the torn heart that awaits rebirth.

I squeeze her leg to reassure her, and I give her a smile, and she smiles back to me.

Priest and angel and all the sum of our weary hearts, bitter hopes, baptized in the sea.

 

Cinders At The Bright Gates

Chosen, St. Catherine, St. Michael had come to her,

led her to where the sword was behind the altar,

told her to make a banner of Jesus in Heaven,

and she went to war.

 

She sat on her steed, the tall and dark warhorse,

and looked out at the battle field. She’d carried the day.

She felt the light of the sun warming her skin

beneath her armor.

 

Frail from the war, the muddy camps, and little food.

Tired, but willing to go on, willing to drink from her bitter cup.

She grieved even for the enemies cut down, for the carrion crows.

For all this wicked world could be.

 

She turned her head, and looked to the sky.

The sun was bright and untroubled by it’s sight.

Was it not the eye of God, after all?

Did it not see all this blood and death?

 

A fire in the castle burned, and Joan was transfixed.

St. Catherine and St. Michael had told her what was to be.

She drank from her bitter cup, but the weight was the sky.

Fire would raise her ashes to heaven, cinders at the bright gates.

Eternal Recurrence

 

Joan of Arc, with her blonde pixie cut

and slim frame, in t-shirt, leggings,

walks down a modern Paris street.

She is cold, as the sun fades,

as the day ends, as the season changes,

and all seems to want to die.

Her Lord’s Enemy Nietzsche talked

of eternal recurrence, and, damn, goddamn,

if it does seem like that’s so now.

A young couple, both Joan’s age,

walk hand in hand down the street,

the girl’s head on the boy’s shoulder.

They are tender, sweet, still innocent.

Joan knows the boy will be killed in the war.

Joan knows the girl will be never fall in love after.

Rich men, cruel men, who speak of holiness,

crush the dreams of children, of the world,

and so many faithful cheer them on.

Joan sits by the Seine, as night is here,

and she needs rest, as her, the angels,

all the Children of God fight a battle that feels lost.

Why have they fought so long, so hard?

History repeats itself bitterly, endlessly.

People when not embrace the Godly Shard in them.

Ghosts of her friends, of her comrades,

of God’s now passed children, are close,

but not as close as the fires being kindled by greed.

 

St Joan of Arc Chapel

A long drive, rainy and cold October afternoon.
Again what I thought I knew I didn’t know at all.
Michael and Lucifer want to claim victory today.
ST JOAN OF ARC CHAPEL. I see the sign there.
I pull in, needing solace, and the presence of light.
The door is open. The sanctuary empty. I am alone.
The cold grey day soothing. Patter of rain on stained glass.
I sit and pray. I ask St. Joan that I could be better today.
I let the silence fill with the longing for the light and bravery.
St. Joan, strong and brave, and willing to go to her death.
I don’t know, like she did, what aim I’m here to serve for.
I just know, I want to be strong and brave, not fall on flesh.
I leave my few dollars in the donation box. I leave a dream.
Michael pushes Lucifer away. The fire becomes soft sunlight.
A battle in war that doesn’t end today, but that we can win.

Mammon’s Winter

All night diner, south of the river, silent flurries lurid in neon.

Joan runs her fingers through her buzzed head, bleary, tired.

Winter is here, demons loud in the quiet, in the still darkness.

A couple of cigarettes in the pack, the stress pushes for more.

The black coffee is piping hot, bitter, and flushes her cold cheeks.

Cigarettes and coffee, keep her fighting, pleasures robbing the sun.

Mammon stole the faithful, and the hot dry smoke is soothing,

as that war grinds on and on and on. Coffee tender in it’s harshness.

Winter is here, and she has not done enough; Mammon’s feelers on her.

The waitress, grandmotherly and kind, always asking after Joan,

brings ketchup and scrambled eggs, pats Joan’s hand on the table.

This is God and devotion, so simple, so freely given, so tireless in the cold.

Simple meal, vinegary topping, cigarette finished, fresh coffee in porcelain cup.

Body can touch the holy, can escape the dust, even in these corporal pleasures.

Mammon’s winter threatens God’s creation, and in prayer, in the streets, she must stand.

Buzzcut

Buzzcut, short spiky brown hairs, disciplined.
A dark and big and poofed out parka her armor.
In her pack, a plain bible, cigarettes, Aquinas.

She has a worn and stickered scooter at the ready.

South of the river, November twilight, first stars.
Idolatry on that other side. Roar of the crowd, forgetting.
I imagine her to be Joan, keeping low to do holy work.
The cold insists that we hide. She gets on her scooter.
New castles may push us on somewhere else, take home.
Money buys too much, including respect and honor here.
The young woman, puts on a scratched helmet, speeds
into the falling night, sword invisible, mightier than men.

Meadow

A child, yes a child, a teenager, a young woman.
The war was turned, like a tide rolling out again,
pushed back by blood and light, unseen things.

No wedding day, the war had to turn, or all would
be subsumed and lost, but centuries later, it all was.
Her banner led her grace, bravery, before the night.

The fires consumed her, but the unconsuming ones
never touched her, her ashes up to the sky, to heaven,
to the God who chose her for this, formed her for this.

A child, a teenager, young women, heart unburned,
heart still pure despite the war, and everything else taken.
Whole and wet and ruddy, a relic when God was near.

Wide meadows by the forests and the silver, cold creeks.
Dreams beneath the sky as the lambs graze and gambol.
All was won, but all this time lost, but she is free forever.

March To The Fire

The march to the fire, the stake against a
powder blue sky, the early hope of spring.
She walks, head held high, no fear for her
angels are here, have always been there.
The war is won now, the tide has turned,
and she knows soon she will sleep in His arms.
In the fields, the wildflowers bow in the wind,
and the world begins again, awakening from sleep.
In Domremy the children will be playing in lush
and verdant forests, be wild and free in youth.
Angels and saints came to her, and she took their hands,
and she gave that up forever; honor calls for blood.
And she looks to the sky, still a girl, but a darker heart,
but not hard, still a softness in her twilight life.
The fires are burning, and tears come, but she is
going home, and all this darkness will be lost in the light.
The smoke and flames, pain and choking, but the sun,
the sun has His face, and she sees him now, face to face.

Butterscotch and Wine

The flames of the stake perhaps do not purify,
but they do release, from flesh even as strong as hers,
and the weight of snow and days and years and sleep,
and the cruelty that comes down so thoughtlessly.
When she was a girl, just a moment ago, but another life,
she danced hand in hand in circles with the other girls
around The Fairy Tree, in the woods with Edenesque light,
free for a time, to laugh and dream of trifling things.
Free to climb it’s height where she could hold the sun
in the palm of her hand, and kiss the beams of light
that were butterscotch and wine, that soothed her
as she saw her nation burn, just down the road, just out of sight.
She kneeled once at it’s roots, the tree between heaven
and older realms and Eden and the waking world, loss and warmth,
God wrapped in the silver blade pulled from a Pagan breast,
and she felt the warmth of a better sun, as her angels came.
And no more trifles, now more play in the height of the tree,
though a better sun shown ever on her face, that she could not
hold in her hand, or taste it’s sweetened beams, but knew it’s grace,
as she went of to war, shorn of pride, but brighter than all the stars.
As she slept, among her soldiers, course and holy men, brave and tired,
she dreamed of The Fairy Tree, which was another tree in Eden,
that we did not choose to eat from, but just the one that showed our nakedness,
but not the life that could come from a better sun, held only in God’s hand.
And as the end came, on that stake, on that hungry and devilish fire,
her work done but her place among loved and trusted ones taken,
placed among vipers that speak in holy write and sacred scripture,
who bleed out the true and pure with the edges of words of love.
The Dove emerged from her heart that stayed whole and true and red,
and her soul with it to the sky, to the clouds all the way to that better sun,
to it’s light everlasting and all the weight of war and death and blood
were washed by blood, and she was free again, free and a child, free
And again she was at the roots of The Fairy Tree, The Tree of Life,
the better sun bright through it’s branches, and faith given over to warmth,
know that she was home, and the fruit was given and received, precious communion,
and in Eden played and wandered, and no more weight was on her forevermore.
She was a child. She was free. She was eternal. She was unashamed.

Release and Peace

It isĀ over. It’ is done.

Release and peace have come.

Armor buried in consecrated ground.

Her heart, as a dove, flew to heaven.

Wide open fields where the sun shines forever.

She is a girl again, free, without burden.

The tree with gold light through it’s leaves,

the cold brook with refreshing water.

And she tends her sheep,

and she feels God near, and she is healed,

and she is whole and her country saved.

She can be with God and her angels now.

It is over. It is done