May 2, 2016



Unum, duo, tria, I count the elements on a metronome,

their numbered symbols make a mark’d meter,

A frantic danse macabre over a world of processes.

O, that sublimation would carry me away,

the lighter above the heavy,

a team of angels tromping above the earth,

the fiery seraphim, who announce, holy, holy, holy.

O that I be transmuted,

blackest dross to fairest gold,

in the blue hours before dawn.

O that I climb to heaven,

Aboard my dreams, rocked by chopped ocean,

threatened by deepest seas

and glaring leviathan, wispy-tongued.

May I close ears to the siren

who calls strident, rimed-poetry,

fantastic alchemy, grave fables.

Abroad the silver-tipped wings of albatross,

fluttering pinions of fairies,

folded pelage of nymphs,

May I ascend, ascend the gracious realm,

my elysian field, my Eden… paradise,

for which I long in sighs and lament,

psalm, dirge and hymn.

Oh angels, bring me, aloft,

along the pearled steps,

Where cares fall amidst the lilies,

where worry fades within the sun

which knows no setting, no dusk,

no bugle-call, no sleep at the earth’s end.





June 2, 2012

“And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”

– Luke 1:43



How I look into your eyes where dusky shapes dance

like the moon’s face strewn with flowers,

golden, blue, pink and ivory white.

gathered a fountain around,

where love and agony meet?


Your palace within,

Stairwells that you traverse,

astride the black steed of death,

clutching to your breast,

the light of life.


O gaze so ancient! O heart sublime!


How do I stand before you, matronly shadow, matronly light,

encompassed by angels ,

a queen, carried aloft

upon the litter of pearled clouds

one hand pointing above, feet fixed below?


O arms so comely! O royalty so impassioned!


How do I speak unto that singular woman,

blessed throughout generations,

wiped clean by God’s florid brushstroke,

a field of scarlet and snow,

within whom love and agony rest?


Wrapped up in gauzy, sacred lace,

stunned, senseless, yet raptured from all fear,

I dare not echo the angel’s hail.

No, childlike, my voice cries, small and abrupt:

“My Lady, stay…and do not leave me.”


“Maria” by Rachel M. Gohlman


March 9, 2012


The swarthy angel perched

upon my bedside

raven wings ashroud,

whispered to me in that dead tongue

of devils and priests:

Veni, veni, venias

ne me mori facias.

A forgotten song

serenade for the dead

sung beneath archways,

where I sought my beloved.

in antiquity’s chill.

Roses glow

like blood-drops sprung out of the earth.

Their thorns outstretched

rebuking hands

leave a silent pin-prick

against my flesh,

telling me

my love lies here not

not within this dark place.

Once more clarion,

I hear the haunting psalm

its shadowy linger

resounding the fretful antiphon

of bygone years lost:

Veni, veni, venias

ne me mori facias.