“The Monk, the Mercenary and the Lover”

Up the high ceilings our voices float

Joyous, and brim in the space around us

The temple serene with the whisper

Of light wind that twirls through

Wide open arches, and somewhere,

Bodiless voices chant childhood hymns,

And their rhythm breathes through us

We walk on tiled floors we’ve walked

A thousand times before; I hear our

Tender steps echo down the worn years

And each one we’ve made to each other

Slowly drove away the restless shadows

With the moment of our meeting bright’ning

This once desolate sanctuary


I’ll know no peace until the chanting’s done

I seethe with guilt at their hymns

I’ll know no calm at their solid march

I’ll take no comfort at the temple here

The deed’s been done; what’s a meager life

For a worthy sum?

Now here they are beyond relief

For which I admit no stake or claim

It’s the circumstance of life –

You take yourself the silver

Or you accept the blame


The mercenary’s remuneration

Today will answer for

Yesterday’s recrimination of me

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