Peter V. Dugan, New York
The faithful flock to the cathedrals,
churches and chapels, book stores,
cafes and schools, take their seats,
fill the pews, listen and recite
"The Word . . ."
Outside on the street those starving
for faith congregate as heretics
and apostates shout out blasphemy,
"Poetry is dead!"
while true believers retort,
"There is resurrection!"
But, everyday agnostics and atheists
pass by, deaf to the debate, rapped-up
by the incessant rhythm and rhyme
of a pop-culture sublime that blurs
the line between art and entertainment.
They are blind to the figured wheel
that rolls down the road, through
the meadow and out into the wasteland
over the decayed stone wall where
an old black hearse without gilt
or polish lies buried in the high grass
next to a red wheelbarrow.
At night, you can hear the howl
of the wind bellow and echo
through coffee shops, poetry vaults
and library basements.
Here converts, novices and deacons
still toil down in the catacombs
creating poems from old poets' bones
Language becomes image,
The Word is among us.
We bear witness to it here.