Angels on Earth



Midnight—and an angel dark descends in

answer to a cry. The sighing earth begs

in supplication to the sky; and dregs

of broken men break the knee and bow. Sin

to mortal earth: this genuflection to

a pair of gaudy, tattered wings, tainted by spots

of blood turned blue in the silent black.


Do you see the angel’s soul? It dies and rots,

shrivelled by unwelcome soil steeped in brute

and blood and mire. Yet still men beg, and still

men break the knee.


Your angels cannot kill

the pain of dwelling on this earth, nor mute

the quiet voice that whispers death. All they

do is fly and smile and point—and only point—

beyond the silence of the clouds.


their feet with tears, then, if you must; and say

your endless prayers, and wish, and hope. But earth

remains indifferent to your breath; it turns

away from angels, gods, and men. The birth

of life begets the birth of death, and burns

to ash the angel’s soul, and flames the blade

that lights the way beyond the garden shade.