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Notre Dame de Paris



Selected poems



Another vision

After the vision,


     when she had seen a figure,

     an angel as she described it

        (she had no proof);

     an angel who spoke to her,


she had no doubt

though many doubted her.


And when her betrothed,

her husband, opened himself

to dreams and grace,


one relative asked

if she was happy;

if she loved him.


There was of course a marriage feast.

All came mumbling

their disgust and mistrust

as if it was theirs to offended

to judge and redress.

Such is the sway of whispers

            at the market.


Then, at the summons of the Romans

and their census takers

            (people who tick boxes),

the couple travelled the cold distance, she at full-term.


His relatives,

            all but one,

turned them away.

— Marlene Marburg




Notre Dame de Paris

The stars were reeling as they watched

The exaltation of life that was blooming in the stone:

It rose in its tall verticals from the grace and welcome of the earth,

That swooned far, far below,

As canny masons hefted the limestone

Into vast beatitudes of grace;

Shipwrights inverted their minds to groom the oak,

So that it would soar,

As if a celtic monk had charmed a serpent into a holy phrase;

as the glaziers of Paris composed the enormous glass

Into ten thousand psalms of roseate light,

Affirming in limestone, oak and glass

The best estimations of the people's faith

To be held in the gentle custody of the Virgin,

So that the quiet aspiration of prayer might

Be breathed to rise like kissed children

into a majesty of space

That rested upon a singular setting stone

hewed to bear the weight of all eternity.

— Grant Fraser




Christmas 2015

The baffled moon drifts its progress

Through the immensity of this strange,

Uncharted night:

A night when a broadcast of carolling voices

Bells the music of the holy eve;

When singers surrender their rest

Until the last of their joy

Is melodiously spent in song.

And so, this weary, moon-giddied earth

Is yet graced;

Graced by the quiet melodies of breath

Of snug and sleeping bairns,

Graced, too, by the excelsior of light

Brimming in the Christ Child's morn.

— Grant Fraser

Topic tags: poetry, Marlene Marburg, Grant Fraser, Christmas, Notre Dame



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Existing comments

Beautiful juxtaposition of conception, birth and rebirth - ad majorem dei gloriam.

john frawley | 16 December 2019  

Not to pour parsimonious rain/ On our celebratory parade/ But Notre Dame burned down.// A reminder, perchance/ Of the charred Cross/ That greets us beyond?// Is that not/ The true message of/ Christmas?

Michael Furtado | 17 December 2019  

The true message of Christmas? Some might say that the true message is that God became man and dwelt amongst us. It is not surprising that so many men and women reject Him, a mere man who dared to suggest he was superior to me/us - the cheek of it!

john frawley | 17 December 2019  

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