Pasquino

Michael Hartley stood between the gates of heaven and of hell
with hardly any stories to tell or exploits to confess.
He’d been with major Lawrence, down the front in old Cairo,
but had not followed him through to Faisal and the sea.

So, there stood Michael Hartley, at the gates of old St. Peter
having lived up to no glory, nor succumbed to no excess.
Yes, there stood Michael Hartley, a fine, but mellow, fellow–
as wise as all the sages and a prophet for the ages.

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Daunting drumming, rolling from the city, roars.
Five times denied, the priest hurls his sanguine spear
into a city that sleeping stalls
its victor’s wreath and writhes in cool concern.
But, weapons that are inward turned never fail to maim or burn.
So, watch him flame with extraordinary might
and feel his ash fall upon your city square.
Witness smoke from his charred bones rise up
as a new pontiff condescends his sword.
Watch as dice are cast and mighty arms employed to keep his word;
lest someone comprehend or compromise it.
For it, he’ll level empires; he’ll tear each stone.
For, his glory sought is not of gold,
but a vision kept by lips’ loving fuel.
Welcome to the age of charts and maps– of pater pius’ rule.

‘Vulcan Presenting Venus with Arms for Aeneas’ by François Boucher

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Pasquino

Pasquino

Essayist and second rate bard.