And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence because of them; now I am going to destroy them along with the earth.”
Hopkins burnt his poems before entering the Order,
so too, Roualt, his paintings. Gone, lost, irretrievable.
Soul corrupted; now everything must be destroyed.
Still, the heart is an ark. It holds the stomp, bite, chafe
of hooves and fur, the hooded gaze, the stinging tail
—everything that was created, more or less—to survive
predators, bitter foes, enemies, even the Creator Himself
on a rampage. Like the hacked off faces of stone saints,
the soul gazes eyeless at the destruction, self-less in its daze.
Meanwhile in the wood, the floating bark, some remnant
of mercy sharpens tooth and claw to bound across the plain
soon to emerge under the colored archway.
The eye, washed of itself, will returns to its face
to draw once more from the inkwell of the earth,
the palate of the seas, visions in a season new as spring.