...yet the meanings of October 28, 1965 continue to radiate
– W. A. Mehrhoff, The Gateway Arch : Fact and Symbol
We've surfed so far through this festal gloom.
We've journeyed a certain way from Milk Street
& the grey slate wings of the parish Paraclete
under the rain (arrayed in black-gold rime
of mountain ash). Sursum corda, sounds
the bronze bell. The bronze bell (lifted up
like a voluble serpent). Near train-stop
in pre-dawn Siberia (way station to mounds
of skulls... symphonic Day of the Dead).
Sursum corda. Lifted up like a cruel 44
in Memphis (inscaped, unescaped martyr's
hour) below the strong brown stream (head
Janus-janitor, draining the wounded woods).
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; & be ye lift
up, ye everlasting doors; & the King of glory
shall come in. Sursum corda. Here stood
th'embottled farmer-gardener, misunderstood.
Misrecognized. Sursum corda. Where a ghost
looms in the denuded limbs (O Lord of hosts)
like the hollow hoot of a phantom railroad.
& so for 40 days & nights the flood rose
in the mouth of the throat of the gorge
of the ring-dove. & the surge
of the wave & the rainbow-haze
curved over the gate that was lifted up
like the line of a length of a labyrinth (or
edge of spark-wrung rose). Cradle me then
strange coracle my almond, Argus-eyed shallop
(unfortunately the text displayed on these blogs doesn't allow for extra spaces between words... this is why the last 2 stanzas above don't appear correctly... there should be extra spaces between some of the words there, but I don't know how to correct this)