Saint George and the Dragon
The Broken Lance—
a vision

Perhaps empty space has texture,
just as wood has grain.

Who can show us
how to read such things?

Finally, the midlands.

On a hill, resting, overlooking
the place where a great river makes
a powerful turn to the North, moving
slowly from mountain to sea.

We don't always have to dig
to uncover the facts of the past;
sometimes the history of a place
speaks to us more in the hushed tones

of deep underground streams -- we listen,
follow the signs, winding about
until we reach a possible source.

Clearly, this is a city of many springs, of
many fountains. Long ago, fanatics
hacked away the finely-wrought, deeply
feminine dragon shapes which graced many
wells, forcing the water through straight
iron pipes aligned to the axis of a cross.

But before this, a sword was
thrust into the earth,

and dark-haired, barefoot young
women were no longer allowed to
dance or sing or sleep together at night.
(Fire  and air,  f i r e  and a i r, and
the horrifying sound of
heavy hooves and giant horses,
f i r e  and  a i r.)

The clock added to the cathedral's
tower, and the mountains of silver and gold
horded in secular banks, all came
much later.

They say, once the giant bells were
melted into cannon balls, throughout
the land, the sound of the night winds
and flowing waters, was no longer heard.

(Fire and air,
f i r e  and  a i r .)

(Photo: St. George, Slaying the Earth Dragon;  Münster Cathedral, All Saints' Day,
Basel, the Alps)
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Texts © 1999 Cliff Crego   All Rights Reserved 
(created: XI.30.1999 ) (Last update: III.7.2002)