By that lofty, Italianate Woods-Gerry House
on the crest of the ridge (now part of RISD) –
at its very crown – stands a towering oak tree
like massive shipmast : twisted wild & sinuous
into a giant’s maze, as if by Circe’s spell.
I lingered beneath its dark green canopy
of semaphoring leaves, looking out at the city
below... old Providence, in shallow river-bowl.
Then I watched as one light cloud swelled out,
floating over the town – shaped like a hand
with blue eye in its palm. A rainbow band
rimmed its perimeter, each hue gilded bright
with a single word – one of the 7 ancient virtues
(cardinal & theological) : Prudence, Temperance,
Justice & Fortitude; Faith, Hope & (in the violet
patch) Charity. & then I spied, in the wheelhouse
of her wheeling house – Natasha! Here to visit
me again, swathed in her cloudonutcar. Henry,
she said, smiling – you’ve toured the periphery
of this great tesseract, & glimpsed (in orbit
of his mandorla) the beaming Lamb. It’s time
to skip the third & last ring of this morris maze :
a golden cruciform circle (charted like Chartres)
where all the forms & figures coalesce – to chime
with that formless, invisible & omnipresent Lotos
floating in the heart of Everywoman, Everyman.
Diamond-hard rose compass – for orientation
of each soul (within one luminous J-cosmos).