The Breath of Bethlehem

The Breath of Bethlehem Midnight Mass, 1992 You see it like a never-ending feud,Somali gunmen taking children’s food;and Britain’s homes expelling sons and daughtersonto the street; and caught between the bordersin No-Man’s-Land bunched Palestinians freeze,while...

Ballad of the Hanged

Ballad of the Hanged Brother men, who after us survive,think not of us with bitter heart and hard.To those who keep some charity alive,God sooner turns his merciful regard.You see out bodies strung across the yard –the flesh, that we would nourish to excess,is no more...

Villon’s Mother: Ballad of the Harps

Villon’s Mother: Ballad of the Harps to Our Lady Empress of Earth, Lady of the Sky,Queen of where Hell’s swamps are black and cold,believe me when I say I humbly tryto be a Christian – take me in your fold,though surely here in me there’s little gold!Your mercy may...

To the Girls of Bygone Times

To the Girls of Bygone Times Tell me where that beauty is, the lovely one I seek,Flora, the Woman of Rome, Thaïs,her twin in looks, a Greek;or Echo, who unseen will speakwhen called, across a waterway,who soared above known beauty’s peak . . .but yesterday’s snows,...

Paris Girls’ Ballad

Paris Girls’ Ballad You may have heard the rousing gabbleof Venice chicks, and Florence hens:the older ones sound capable,arch-gossips, of being poison-pens – but Lombard skirts or Savoyans,Piedmontese – however dressed,the Swiss types or the Roman ones,the Paris...

Anna of the New World

Anna of the New WorldAnna of the burning eyesin the blinding summer dusknow their light has fallen from megrieve I mustWoman whose fierce womanhoodsang at me a note of dawnnow the air is cold upon melight has goneStill the mind’s light smoulders, Annasomething of you...