In the sanctity
Of blinding spires
Crossing the sun,
Sit old men
Masked in divine
Incense of rancid rose;
Rapacious men
With supplicated hands
And holy mien.

They council
In unctuous tones
Beneath the glorified
Execution block,
And from their balconies,
Piously dispense
Purgative fires
And holy solvents
For predicated wounds.

Thus prescribed,
The walking dead
Tread not upon the
Rounded glass,
But sharp fragments
Of disfigured man
Nevermore to milk
The bosom
Of Diotimas' mysteries.

In their stead
The passive thread
Of penitence--
Sickly ambition
Conditioned to the need.

1997 by Pasqual S. Schievella