Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Four Saints called Ives meet the New Immigrant

i

Ia of Cornwall (c. 500AD)

St Ives holding dry her skirts
floats on a leaf light boat
across the Irish Sea
to tell Cornwall of her dear Christ
and cruelly martyred be.

As I was going to St Ives
I met a man with seven wives.
Seven wives with seven sacks.
Fourteen hooded eyes look back.

ii

Ivo of Huntingdonshire (pre 1000AD)

St Ives by the Silk Road comes
travel stained from far Persia.
Leaves the lux of court and king
and under monk stone chants and sings.

As I was going to St Ives
I met a man with seven wives.
Each wife had seven cats.
Each cat had seven kits
All pedigreed, fair price to fetch.

iii

Ivo of Chartres (c. 1040-1115)

King Philip locks his wife away
“Too fat.” sighs he.
Now he can bed the fair Bertrade.
St Ives rebukes the lawless king
so to the dungeon now they bring
poor Ives but there he stoutly rants
against the other lord’s penchants
for simony and further
favors in finance.

As I was going to St Ives
I met a man with seven wives
and seven scimitars besides
each for a general who rides
to take this edict everyplace:
prostrate, the sacred city face.

iv

Ivo of Kermartin (1253-1303)

St Ives has hand upon a book
to show he’s patron of the men
who advocate the law.
But see his purse in other hand
extended to the street strewn boys
and girls who’ve lost their
mums and dads.

As I was going to St Ives
I met a man with seven wives.
The seventh wife was rather small
and in her hand she holds a doll.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tableau

Small black birds
by some faint sign flit from high wires
quick sweep the sun and oh
for less than the flick of an eye
feather-filter light on rampant wings.

Four and twenty black birds
by lines of light suspended:
long photon chorus lines dancing
back and back to first unfiltered moments
luminous with expectation.