On the Feast of the Protection of the Theotokos

Wake, my powers, wake, my soul,
from dreams of silent, purple pine
put down your feet on this cold world,
laugh and say “my Love is mine!”

My Love is mine in autumn hours
when scarlet befriends eternity
My Love will be the hall of mirrors
where Beauty consents at last to me
My Love has been the stalwart house
lit up with gifts, to which I fled
when gray corruption seized and gave
my childhood home to the chasing dead.

Within are prayers in small brown bags
and lamps of sacred memory
the faces on the walls are kind –
my new more ancient family.
Around the windows a palace stands
that I will never full explore
bewilderment like galaxies –
but My Love calls me at the door.


In secret minutes we made ascent
between our tedium, accounts and tears,
we came together to the Mount
but I went cloaked in pallorous fears.

The altar of God, I knew of old,
stands watched by towering cherubim,
licked by fearsome flames of gold
that once burned gifts I gave to him.

I cannot bear the cherub’s joy,
but higher than he leans a milder height:
A lady with veil drawn round the world
Pointing with fingers of light

to the altar of the One True God
dressed in the festal flowers she brings
and seas of sacrificial saints
who found in the altar the joy of things.

I approach and find there my newer love
laughing and dancing within the pyre.
With our God and his mother we share the meal,
My Love and I, and our brave desire.

2 thoughts on “On the Feast of the Protection of the Theotokos

  1. Hi!
    I found your website through a comment thread on Fr. Stephen Freeman’s a couple days ago. Wanted to tell you I keep coming back to read this poem. I think it is very good. The first time I broke out in goosebumps when I got the the sixth stanza, and now I just love the whole thing. It reminds me of Christina Rossetti (a favorite), but your voice is definitely unique. So happy to have discovered it! 🙂


  2. Leah, I’m glad you found something in it for your delight. This commemorates a very special visitation from God that my husband and I shared across hundreds of miles when he was deployed. The details aren’t important to anyone but us, but it was a moment of un-looked-for grace on Her feast day. God be with you.


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