A Frozen Europe
Urban II, post coitus, made enquiries
into the etymology of escutcheon.
He barked instructions towards the Pleiades,
as was his most holy remit,
his casus belli, if you will.
God’s own genetic mandate made flesh.
In gowns of velvety purpurates,
semi-tumesence tenting his muslin cassock.
His slippers velour. Brocade of satin.
The usual finery designating position.
A high seat assigned at privilege’s table.
What the lowlife and jackanape discuss
concerns his worship little,
their souls eternally tarnished, marble
with unsightly chips, manuscripts blurred
by the purblind monk scrivening left-handed.
The work of the devil’s devil.
He coughs up a pearl and oyster, incense smoke
a mystical fogbank to incise, a harsh musk,
the latest papal edict not worth the candle,
a proper waste of lampblack.
Indeed, child, the tithings of peasantry
are a heavenly commerce.
Another holy war is what the coffers order
and holy orders offer in return.
Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician and multiple Pushcart nominee, has had work appear in hundreds of publications around the world. The winner of the 2020 Libretto Chapbook Prize (20 Sonnets), his books include The So-Called Sonnets (Silenced Press), An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy (Cawing Crow Press) and Like As If (Pskis Porch), all available via Amazon.
[image: Pope Urban II Preaching the First Crusade in the Square of Clermont | Francesco Hayez, 1835]