breath of future time


Providence must be frozen now –
near as cold as here.
There, in a corner
of RISD Museum, on the brow

of a painted rise – a late-medieval
child-world.  Horses
& men, innocent & coarse
in their gaudy armor, their carnival

smiles... all in a day’s work,
limns the rustic Master
of the Providence Disaster
(Crucifixion, id est).  The wolf-pack

crowds up a drowsy, lamb-shy
Messiah-King.  His large
eyes scan the callous surge
ringing those toxic letters – IN RI.

We learn dissonance from what blocks
our way.  The enemy
in the script – mythology
played to strength – flows through the locks

like Trickster (shifty for defense).
Jonah swims with the fish.
Jason or Gilgamesh –
the babe in the river-basket – immense

human soul-wheel spun from sloppy
river-clay, to stand
for Mama’s Best (hand
circumnavigating Ocean Sea

            *          *

like sunken Galileo Galilee).
Enameled figure, lambent
on his Southern Cross.  Bent
course, awaiting Arimathee.

Merely a muttered word you must
absorb, digest, like that
moist crumb from Josaphat
(bottom of the well of Cain’s mistrust).

Cain is unable to redeem himself.
The Minotaur blockades
all Ariadne’s braids.
Only a feather from Fiore’s shelf –

Joachim’s rapt ghost – might wave
a breath of future time
across Earth’s clumping rhyme
& waft her grey eye through its architrave.

The wooden limbs of Roger Williams,
still petrified atop
his cliff.  Scars crop
our hope – Man’s malice rims

the years with lime – yet still
the copper peristyle
of liberty’s Rose Isle
shines in its matrix (Man’s good will).


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