on the verso


There were verses on the verso of 
the parchment, leaching through
like spidery veins (blue
robin’s-egg hen-scratches... mazel tov).

Imprimature of sovereignty.
Blood-red wax of Charles
sealing the 6-foot chart
of Little Rhody liberty;

beehive of ancient freedoms
rooted in that right
Coke labored to indite –
of persons to their own kingdoms

of thought, & conscience, & truth.
For Roger Williams,
riveting I AM
rhaptor soul Nazirim, forsooth.

Because that bird circling the oak
is like a thread that knots
the agate to the plot’s
ripe dénouement.  The thunder spoke

& stone rose   like a double-ax
out of the mountain-wave
laddering Jacob’s cave
a grail-casket   for sweet St. Max

whose dream became   a vernal tomb
across the womb of Magdalen
& made of Joshua   a wren
& Henry Sol   a hawthorn bloom


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