In Quest of the Sangraal – a poem by John J. Brugaletta


The carmine liquid gleams in shallow cracks.
A few collect it, find it sweet, then sour, 
then realize that it has kissed their brains
and made them more alert to minds of light.

But soon an institution forms to keep
this lifeblood as a regulated drink,
a necessary structure in a world
where felons bleed themselves, their servants or
their pigs, and sell it on the road in jars.
It's then the royal blood sinks out of sight,
a memory revered, no longer known.

How to manipulate the world (without
reshaping what we are) to bring it back,
the same old rural scenery of brooks
and holy people in their laundered wool
imbibing simple life from heaven’s wells?
How shall we hold our tongues to speak aright;
or cross our fingers, toes or eyes to snare
this sacred cup we somehow cast aside?

John J. Brugaletta is professor emeritus at California State University, Fullerton, where he taught classes on Shakespeare, Dante, and Homer, as well as the writing of poetry. He now lives in retirement on the northern coast of California.

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