Here the Mystics

Here the mystics hide in holy huddles. 
They can hear the lilies laugh at them,
and considering them, all they can see
is the just-as-naked Christ beyond.

The oxen have escaped their ditches,
they sleep and play like sun-warmed cats.
Take the woollen habit off, it’s only made
of words and they, by now, are all as straw.

Here the smiling dogs preside at table,
their vestments left for nesting crows.
It’s they that bless the Children’s bread and
lick the sadness from their solemn faces.

Here the swine are made of pearls and
camels trample down the slender gates,
brooding vipers soothe the sick with oil and
doves, in squadrons, do the locusts' gentle work.

Here the monkeys steal the rosaries and
spark a final funeral pyre with mantras and
the well-thumbed pages torn from Testaments.
An earnest mystic’s service of remembrance.

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