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A Pilgrim in Pays Cathar

for Emma

Whose pale eyes aching blue

drink light from Cathar skies,

and wander at the brink of love
as by the ramparts steep and stark

a pilgrim stands defiantly above

this folly and this human fear -

except the fear that love denies?

The ocean rushing with rough clouds

on Monsegur, at Puilaurens,

seems now to be no more immense

than your deep well of innocence

where loneliness remounts again, again

Even to test its own demise 

against the grain, feeling declines

the azure welcome of those skies.

So aching blue, those lively eyes

look timidly upon the glass

where time reflects how days will pass:

how sweet the look, the smile, the kiss,

the simple pleasures that you miss

are missing you as well — so long

will sorrow raised to Cathar heights

ignite at dusk in starry lights.

No single kiss offered in faith

can be erased from here and now.

At rampart’s rim one broken vow

dislodges like a falling stone,

but nothing you can live alone

will undermine beauty’s commands. 

This fortress stands on love alone 

and holds the pilgrim near and dear.

October 27, 2009

March 25, 2009