by Ron Yazinski
Most come here for the windows,
The glass manual for the Resurrection.
But like the Internet, there is just too much information for me.
I could lie and claim that it’s the beauty of the stories which makes me turn away.
But in truth, I was never very good at looking up.
I am more comfortable with the bas relief which girdles the choir.
I can feel the sensuousness of the worked stone with my fingertips,
If the guards don’t catch me,
Though I realize my hand just replaces the excess that was chipped away
To reveal the truth.
And so I look down,
Because I am a shallow man and more fascinated by my own feet
Than art in the name of God.
Shuffling along the eleven turns of the labyrinth,
I rotate through the four quadrants of hazy colors,
Kicking the rose and green of the saintly light spread in my way,
Round and round, bearing stories from the stained glass on my shoulders,
Gyring towards the center, where the circle of salvation awaits.
But what waits for me is an image from my youth,
Of a trapped dog, whimpering behind a screened gate,
As I walk by.
Because of neighbors, it had to be caged.
It had blasphemed their garden statue of Mary,
By raising a leg to her,
Soiling her mock veil, of which, the true mock is kept here, in Chartres.
The dog should be grateful to the mercy of Jesus in his master that he’s still alive.
But how should dogs know what we know,
We who have followed the windings of the heart
And now stand at the still point of the turning world
Wearing a mantle of light?