If I could shatter the glass
shield of night
and part the starry trellis I have
only scaled in dreams,
would Heaven finally open?
Can it hear injustice singing
with a voice like molten gold,
more eloquent than Yeats?
Piles of haunted shoes in a museum;
The drug-addicted baby
who enters the world all grown up;
The ashes of heretics;
The gun he used to execute the
chattering strangers in his head;
An eye for an eye for an eye . . .
and endless night.
Splatters of darkness light cannot interpret.
Music beyond us that enters us.
Lives that burn like adoring eyes.
Images dying slower than wounded egos.
Look down, you saints clothed in amber dust
and tell the night not to chant so lovingly,
tear the venerated moon from its steaming niche,
sink to mortal rage.
In winter's lacy torrent
six vultures sit in one shivering tree
like hunchbacked witches doing
business with the dead.
They don't need reasons.
They just eat,
eat the misfortune of lesser lives
eating what is left of
this small heaven
but never finishing,
Because they, like the ragged birds,
need a lifeless prey
and the warm blood of justice
Evening shadows killing splendidly.
The last light sings like a martyr:
phantom faces or hair of nymphs,
their dark dreams under my feet.
See, I can crush them,
and they'll live again.
Patricia Joan Jones
This poem received The Moonstone Rune Award at Galadrial's Respite poetry forum.