(after T. S. Eliot)
In temple’s dust forgotten,
Constrained by eyeless thought,
With crowns of sand,
We stand in reddened sun,
The ancient columns, the iron rust,
Mantles, where the ancients sought.
Our glass towers now catch the light but not
The answers found in walls of temple’s eyes.
On dark stained oak,
In crystal braziers, sacrifices smoke.
The crimson stains of lips
That older tributes’ stain implies,
The choke of olive’s slip,
With tilting heads too late realized.
No priestesses to bear the soak
Of stains our sacrifices caught.
In clericals of night forgotten
The canyons, houndstooth grey
In flannels, tight with auspices,
The bend and shape, whose signify
The profane spaces sanctify.
Straw dogs in funeral rites,
In yellow taxies rush consuming,
How does the night enrage
Clung in boundless chatter,
Like smoke from lips betrayed
In words that never seem engaged,
With clouds and gallows hung
Between the words
And crimson stains.
Hail Mary, full of grace,
Full of grace, pray for us.
Mary, pray for us.
Pray for us, Sinners now,
Now and at the hour,
Now and at the hour...
At temple’s wall, Pray for Us.