St. Chagrin

by Adham Smart

“The temple road is a high one,”
said the beetle to the man,
“but whichever way you walk it,
“you end up at St. Chagrin.”

But o! To kneel before that crown,
to greet that gobbled man.
To find again the woollen hearts
of the nuns at St. Chagrin.

To know again the monoliths,
their frog and copper-greens – the man,
the monolith, the Reman wolf:
old ghost of St. Chagrin.

The drinking drums are filled with wine,
in measure cavernous to man.
There are one thousand thirsty oceans
bleeding under St. Chagrin.

One bolder priest confessed to me
his thoughts on every man:
“Let the greedy take more than their share,
and let the weak take what they can.”

For every sin that goes un-judged,
for every gobbled man,
there are ten more, dead in the mud,
in the garden at St. Chagrin.

A drunk sobs in a bitter cellar:
“I am the god of every man!”
But he knows not of flood and sot.
He knows not of St. Chagrin.