Excerpt from Iconography by Mark Jarman


This poem appears in our February 2016 digital issue. The entire issue is available for download.

St. Francis painted on carved wood
with two white birds as epaulets
is draped with beads from Istanbul.
Forgive our debtors and our debts.

Bronze Buddha keeps his lotus pose
beside a tin from Chimayo
holding an ounce of sacred earth.
May light go with us where we go.

Hung on the wall a Green Man peers,
a mask of fronds in stone relief,
above the Virgin’s retablo.
We believe, Lord. Help our unbelief.

Mark JarmanMARK JARMAN’S most recent collection of poetry is Bone Fires: New and Selected Poems. He is Centennial Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. He recently completed his term as elector for the American Poets’ Corner of St. John the Divine in New York City.

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