Simeon Stylites – a poem by JBMulligan

Simeon Stylites


He stood above and below and at his station,
calling to heaven and earth, and hearing both:
voices that fell on him in a warming rain,
voices that rose to beg from him a breath
of benediction, wisdom, even wrath – 
for always he could sense the coils of sin
climbing the pillar like vines, and cursed them with
the rage and horror of the tempted man.
He poured his warmth to those who had the thirst,
and bore the pleasing pains of stout denial,
so far from God and men, and near – and forced
to keep both distances, his body pierced
by crucifying light and the siren's call
to sing and dance around this too-short pole.

JBMulligan has published more than 1100 poems and stories in various magazines over the past 45 years, and has had two chapbooks: The Stations of the Cross and This Way to the Egress, as well as 2 e-books: The City of Now and Then, and A Book of Psalms (a loose translation). He has appeared in more than a dozen anthologies, and was recently nominated for the Pushcart Prize anthology.

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