A Roman Trilogy


~A coded tribute for the Pilgrim Survivors,

Hotel Quirinale 2016~


Jesus wore a garment of blue wool

against the sharp Roman air.

I am a broken man

said he to the one in the red hat,

I am a broken man.

The Magdalen stood by his side,

her long hair fostered carefully

to wipe any and all tears.

Jesus wore a blue garment

from the wool of his two lost lambs.


Jesus wore a pair of heavy rimmed spectacles

on his earnest nose.

He has no need to see more clearly.

His name has criminal connections

that have made him the captive one.

To be rid of his Goliaths

he works daily at being free.


Jesus wore a simple tee shirt,

that haunts his adult face-

a little boy, an iron-on photo,

permeating the fabric’s fibre

like an irreversible tattoo that stains

what was once blank skin.

At once proud and lamenting, he,

of the little boy still growing into his teeth,

a shy smile before it petered out

to a past excoriatingly present.

And the questions ring out across the piazza:

Can a man who has no interest in evil

have any grasp of the good?

Can a shallow swamp

know the unfathomable waters of sorrow?

Can a building brought to rubble rebuild

safe shelters for its people?

And the long pent thunderclouds burst over Rome’s ruins

And the rain it pell/ted down

onto the obdurate cobbles.

Let it seep the rain,

let it sink,

let it sweep to a cleansing flood.

Then in the righteous silence

let the little shoots of green spring and hold,

finding, between the lost stones,

the good earth.