NOTRE DAME 2019

St DOMINIQUE VENNER (died 2013)
Via Viatores Quaerit. St Augustine
(The Way seeks Travellers).

On Tuesday,
Sanctus Dominique,
May his Name be Blessed,
despairing of that peace of mind men seek,
awakened from the dream of his unrest,
to find within the Vision of his Mental Disarray
His Conscience clearing all the clouds away!

A suicide bomber dies
to leave more innocents for dead.

Dominique saw that he must martyrise
himself instead,
and cause no harm
to fifteen hundred of the Faithful
gathered in Notre Dame.

He held a mirror to awaken sleeping minds 
to what they do not understand;
the creeping poisons that blind and bind
the soul and individual,
destroy the anchors of family and fatherland.

“I have a strong belief
my friends
will transcend
their grief
with pride
once they comprehend
the reason why I died.”

On Wednesday,
Satan sent his youngest daughter
to prostitute a human’s body
before Jehovah’s altar.

Je suis la voie qui cherche les voyageurs.

On 21 May 2013, about 4 p.m., Venner committed suicide by firearm in the cathedral of  Notre Dame de Paris which led to the evacuation of approximately 1,500 people from the cathedral. He had been an opponent of Muslim immigration to France and Europe, as well as what he believed to be the Americanization of European values and — most recently — the legalization of  same-sex marriage in France.

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TRAVEL LOG

When I was very young
there was something called “Grownups”.
(Like dinosaurs they are now “extinct” –
the stage after “endangered species”).

Occasionally, a Grownup would say,
“I was miles away!”

We children would look at the Grownup
with wonder.
How did he do it without being seen?

“We children” are now an “endangered species”.
The “stage after” is even further away
than miles.

(from GNOMONIC VERSES)

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UNFINISHED

A face half in shadow
in the gallery;
sudden silence
among the guests,
candlelit at the long table below.

Girls
serving sherbet
in the caravanserai.
Before the whirlwind
in the sandstorm’s eye
tears up the desert.

A severed head
and the black mask of the executioner
on Tower Hill.

Broken masts and torn sails
sliding
beneath the waves
and sailors crying,
“Christ have mercy on me!”
until their lungs fill with sea.

A pewter plate
on a thin chain let down
from a barred window
above the city gate.
Swinging,
to and fro,
like tomorrow’s pendulum.

Imprints
in the mind
from this lifetime or that
or something altogether earlier;
pressing against
the edges of consciousness
like a dream,
that is – but is not what it seems,
seeking its quietus.

Shadows following footprints,
looking to be reunited
with last year’s feet.

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COMPUTER TEMPLES

The Faith Homes of the World,
Buddhist, Moslem, Christian,
have acquired spiritual bolt-ons
built by enterprising entrepreneurs
whose Collection Boxes
funnel the money into hands
that have slipped in between the sheets.

Thou shalt not kill.
(But need-st not strive
officiously to keep alive.)

Thou shalt not eat animals
which have warm blood.
(But it’s OK to drain the blood out first
and then go on and eat
until you’re fit to burst!)

Give all you have to the poor and follow me.
(But don’t take the risk
it might fall into the wrong hands
and be wasted.
Give it to priest or mullah.)

There was a time when
the treasures in the Vatican
would have cancelled the Third World Debt.
(But they’re worth much more than that now;
and we keep them safe with tight security,
not for the benefit of the Just,
but for the Future’s Moth and Rust.)

Cometh the Apocalypse which will revert to Default Settings and truly “he” shall have his just reward.

(from GNOMONIC VERSES)

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SPRING

This spring-tide was not something
to excite the senses
but an overflowing of the heart.
Pure joy.
‘Love thou the rose but leave it on its stem.’

An overflowing of the heart
which sees its images,
reflected everywhere,
existing nowhere
but in itself.

Always the sun shines
in Portsonachon,
in Wien,
in the silence of the mind.

‘Heureux qui, comme Ulysse, a fait un beau voyage.’

This voyage
(with Rilke’s Silent Angel looking on)
was it a beginning
or an ending?
‘Les vrais voyageurs sont ceux-là qui partent pour partir.’

No beginning then.
And no end.

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POETRY

Poetry begins with pain
(like any other kind of birth)
but though it breeds and feeds on earth,
it aims at not becoming back again
and reaches to the roots of things
in search of the eternal springs.

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BUTTERFLY’S EGG

Nature’s miniature
opalescent crystal ball.

Explore it from outside-in
and your finest scientific eyes
are lost in its unimaginable vastness
which opens onto the totality
of the outer universe.

Nothing can be seen
by blinded scientific eyes
of the everything there.
For the would-be observer dissolves.

Explore it from the outside-out
with your finest human eyes
and its immensity emerges
as the finest shred
of cotton thread
and proceeds to eat its way
along the leaf its tiny footprints clasp
and wander on with all its new companions.

They eat their vernal habitation,
burst skins, yet never do their congregation
give rise to thought or conversation
as to their likely destination.
The universal Satnav impels them from within
needing no map or entomological education.

And when at last they can eat no more
and cast off one final unwanted skin
there is no lingering backward glance
or forward looking hesitation
at the unknowability of their destination.

They hang, crumpled shrouds,
upon the nearest twig
and draw out from the vastness
of their invisible Centre
the tools and blueprints
of their future metempsychosis
as conquerors of the Air itself.

Wings and radar and ambulatory landing gear
and a delicate coiled hose for refueling
at the living floral filling stations.

(from GNOMONIC VERSES)

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