Wednesday, 23 November 2011


I have ridden the fray,
lance couched to battle.
The holy Grail you guard so well
from lips of penitent knights –
humility does not crease me.
I come on bended knee
to drink.

Keeper of the Grail,
in Glastonbury your castle stands
with sinks and chairs
and mattresses.
Women who guard your walls
neither bow nor weep
but stand silent at the sides,
their sweet music heard only
by their ears and yours.

Cauldron of birth and rebirth
to which and from which
holy blood has flown,
to which and from which
all things have flown,
kept sacred from kneeling knights
that only sweet maidens may press
their lips to thine.

Copyright ©1997, 2008, and 2011 Daniel J. Bishop
Originally published in the Sangreal limited edition chapbook, 1997.


When I kneel at your altar,
genuflecting, speaking in tongues,
my face anointed with sacred oils,
there will be absolution.
There is no repentance of sin.
All the saints and all the angels
look away.
You are the beatific vision
your cries a canticle
our words our confession.
There will be a resurrection.

copyright (c) 1997, 2008, & 2011 Daniel J. Bishop

This poem first appeared in the Sangreal limited edition chapbook.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Carole Ann

Carole Ann turns
skitters like leaves in an eddy
of dress-suit men and women
whose frustrations lie
more deeply hidden.

They do not look,
and I wonder how they ignore
the childlike wonder of Carole Ann
with the masks we wear
torn away. 

copyright (c) 2011 Daniel J. Bishop

This poem was written during a productive period some years ago, when I was working at BCE Place in downtown Toronto.  It was inspired by a co-worker there who I observed, one day, trying to meet conflicting demands near the TD Tower elevators, being pulled in three directions at once, and , as the poem says, skittering like leaves in an eddy.

And we all feel like that sometimes, torn this way and that.  She just showed it, with her face and her body, the frustration of different demands, and the pull to go everywhere at once.  It was kind of touching, in a way, and kind of wonderful as well.  

The other people there, if they saw, continued on their way without more than a glance, like the drafts that set the leaves to dancing.  This swirl of motion, this individual momentarily laid bare for them to see the emotions on her face, revealed in her movements, stepped around and ignored.

I think that is kind of sad.

So I wrote about it.