We cannot carry that angel’s stiff clarion:

“Go and tell Peter!”

We will go straight to the bedside and clutch woolen

blankets without boiling tea.

Peter’s a ruddy wild bull of the vale.

His beard is a tangle of briars, a fire ball.

His eyes are the embers that pop in the hot part,

frightening children like cat-o-nine tails.

His head is a mat of curled thick ram’s wool,

rolled in red clay dust down the hillside.

Go and tell Peter!

What should we tell

of the mouth of the lion?

Wet were the teeth?

Smooth was the tongue?

What should we say

of the point of Rome’s

sharp spear?

The tip was as nothing?

A vanishing edge?

What should we tell him?

We tasted wild honey?

The bee brought it out

in a polished gold bowl?

Angels can play these notes.

Let angels sound them.

Articles by Jeffrey L. Johnson

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