Our Lady of the Sea

By Joseph R.G. Anderson - San Francisco, California, USA - 25 November 2015



There was no change in the languid sea, sparkling like a needle and biting at the curved strand like the huge arc of a bow,
The languid sea stirs,
Two martyrs hang from crosses about the gulf.
Long Nordic hair wavers round their sweat drizzled brows.
No one, not they, nor others, asked for this.
Yet there they hang,
And their bodies whisper soft secrets to the ocean.


While the man of sorrows watches from the mountain top,
And the seagulls perch along the wood of the cross.


“If this be my word,” reads the scrap of paper, nailed to their feet,
“Then remember not the hand that wrote it,
For I have given this verse my strength,
And in turn, it has given me my strength.”



And then goes by,
A shooting star: shimmering silently, surging southward,
Secretly subduing; something saliently sober in its swift synchrony; shackled not; seething with splendid static; soothing songs, saturated with sadness as they shine and slant skywards.
It is finished.


“You are gone,” says the mother to her child, “my soul is sorrowful to the point of death.”


The wrathful warlord watches round the wiping post,
Appeased, he trots his mare away,
And the band of thieves quickens their steps to fall in place behind.


When out of nowhere, a child stumbles over the mountain crags,
And touches a hand upon the cross,
And the mourning women weep their love,
Through visceral tears, and vehement songs
They sing:


“Come then, my love,
My lovely one, come,
For see, winter is past,
And the rains are over and gone:
Show me your face, let me hear your voice;
For your voice is sweet and your face is beautiful.
See? Who is this arising like the dawn,
Fair as the moon, resplendent as the sun?
Like the rainbow gleaming against brilliant clouds,
Like blossoms in the days of spring.
She is the rose of Sharon,
The lily of the valley,
Our Lady of the Sea.”