went to the opera and God was not there.
I was, at the time, in
The voices were as full as goblets; in
I caught them and threw them back. A form of worship.
those vacant moments when our Lord sleeps
I have the voices. A
cry that is mine for keeps.
went to the galleries and God was not there,
only Mother Roulin
and her baby, an old man infant,
his face lined in black and
with a strange stare
in his black, black eyes. They seemed to
me down. At the gallery van Gogh was violent
crows in the wheat field began their last ascent.
roads led to that death. All of them blind.
The sky had the
presence of a thousand blue eyes
and the wheat beat itself. The
wheat was not kind.
The crows go up immediately like an old
The crimes, my Dutchman, that wait within us
crawled out of that sea long before the fall.
went to the bookstore and God was not there.
Doctor Faustus was
baby blue with a Knopf dog
on his spine. He was frayed and
with needing. The arch-deceiver and I had a
The Debble and I, the Father of Lies
communed, as it were, from the bookshelf.
have made a pact and a half in my day
and stolen Godes Boke
during a love affair,
the Gideon itself for all devout salesman
The Song of Solomon was underlined by some earlier
The rest of the words turned to wood in my hands.
am not immortal. Faustus and I are the also-ran.
as an olive seedling, when it tries
To grow up like the big
trees towards the skies
And sprouts out of the ground, a
A slender, leafless, twigless, living
And which, if lopped by the swift sickle’s
Weeding out thorns and nettles, starts to fade
sapped of natural strength, cut off, forlorn,
Drops by the tree
from whose seed it was born –
Growing before her parents’
She’d barely risen above ground when Death
the dear child with his infectious breath
At our very feet.
Were all those tears of no avail to me?
Stanislaw Baranczak and Seamus Heaney (1995)