Martin Burke – Dante’s Paradiso

Digital StillCameraMartin Burke was born in Limerick. Burke is a long term resident of Flanders where he is active as poet and playwright (and sometimes actor) and from where he has published sixteen books of his work in the USA, UK, Ireland, and Belgium -the latest work being BLAKE/LONDON/BLAKE published by the Feral Press, New York


Source –
The merest friction of your finger
On my mind will be enough

Where everywhere
That endless moving glory

One peak of which
(One peak of the holy mountain)
Should be enough but isn’t

Then give me the second
Where human praise labours
To sing the singing light

As it was when she spoke
Directing my eyes
Upwards, upwards and up

We are ploughmen of waves
Following the wake of Heaven’s skiff
Seeking the god-font

Drawn to astounding sights
Our thirst unabated
Where stars are diamonds struck by sunlight

And warming rays came in constant waves
My mind quivering (and your mind also?)
As her angelic intelligence spoke:

“Heaven gives all forms their scale
You see difference where there is oneness
Yet see what your eye never has

Light flowing like water
Oneness of voice in streams of praise
And divine ignorance save you from despair”.


“You there,
What moves you and will you speak?”
And that bright shade said

“To be pleasing is my pleasure
Thus I am flame and burn with joy
But surely you know this
Having come as one
Not intended to remain
Amongst us

Yet to dance among light
Like gossamer on grass
Of the soul’s joyful rising”

His words were an instruction
Where all must be relearned
And modulation of light and sound

Fall in welcoming ground
Like seed whose flowering
Would come later

When understanding might harvest
That unending joy

© Martin Burke 2013

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