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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