Within the temple of the purer scratch the mystics
As the pennywise and threadbare squall without
And beg the magi to relate the farce again,
Sparing no faces of friends or maidens,
Nor dusting the blue ashes behind the altar
With the broidered hems of crimson vestments.
Above the icon-candles, the grime of a thousand prayers
Marks the love of sinners for the damned.
Distraught with growing fear of heaven,
The beggars laugh and call the noon a lie,
But close their eyes upon the fire of self,
Prying with their hearts at the widowed hands of God.
Copyright 2002 j. bennett carnahan, jr.