Phenomenal – a poem by Stephanie V Sears

Across Italy’s Romanesque lines 
between Tyrrhenian and Adriatic seas 
saints seed themselves in ploughed fields, 
silt with mysticism  
the blood of builder and artisan, 
dash rebellion over the crepuscular  
hours of the two flanking shores. 
They thrive on terracotta hills 
as wild as poppies, 
as persistent as weeds, 
their ignited souls branding 
the clement sky 
with a tirade of wings. 
They come of age  
impulsive and beautiful. 
A see-through grove of trees  
gloves a crest 
with a lace mitten of sun and shade. 
There the top branches 
entwine with tender silence, 
far, far distance nears  
and bequeaths humility. 
Magnified fragments of the world  
touch the heart of penitence. 
Animals become disciples. 
Light slips into satin, 
shows to advantage 
barrel-vaulted woods 
sheep-cropped slopes 
ivy niches of romance 
where rock admonishes 
in fresh trickles: 
“Poverty kill the flesh!” 
They grow old from unsolved mysteries 
cradling sacrifice like progeny 
to whom they continue  
to serve miracles like gelati.  

Stephanie V Sears is a French and American ethnologist (Doctorate EHESS, Paris 1993), free-lance journalist, essayist and poet whose poetry recently appeared in The Deronda Review, The Comstock Review, The Mystic Blue Review, The Big Windows Review, Indefinite Space, The Plum Tree Tavern, Literary Yard, Clementine Unbound, Anti Heroin Chic, DASH, The Dawn Treader. The Strange Travels of Svinhilde Wilson published by Adelaide Book 2020.

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