by Anthony Kirby
THE SNAKE AND THE CHURCH
Curled up in a ball,
Avoiding, retreating from warning
The silver coil shivered into its cave.
Into its realm my shadow stalked
Threatening even though
Benevolence was more apt.
But men afeared have other uses
For creatures threatening them;
These beings who once created
Edifices tall and clourful mosaics
Prefer their colours to flash silver
Around their heads
Before destroying fear
One, two, three and more
Pieces of colour erupt and become abstract
Cubes devoid of meaning
Except for what they are:
The snake looped across
The mosaic floor of the church
Disturbing the perfect equilibrium
With its own passing.
The excavated church at Ciftlik, Sinop, Turkey.
THE SECULARISATION OF SACRED WAYS
I have walked Sacred ways,
Not just one But two —
Each leading Towards hallowed ground.
Shimmers, the light absorbs
Until it sucks
The colours and mellowness
Motes of dust
Become slabs of marble,
Rectangles spawning more of their kind;
Even murmurs of movement
Are dwarfed by the chaos of noise.
These hot breaths scorching brush and leaf
Blacken hillsides and cause ever rising clouds
To dwarf us,
To dwarf us all.
No longer can we offer up
Prayers of dedication,
No longer votive offerings,
Just now aimless ants denied the necessity of work;
Aimless in their sidewards crawl.
The flight of storks
Tasting the thermals rising
Ascending above the glistening sheen
Of the lake mirroring
The blue of heaven’s expanse.
Although I have walked
Along Sacred ways
Two not one
Looking for hallowed ground,
My eyes do not see the proximity
Of the rougher, invisible path