Lamartine’s Umbrella

This begins with a real event

In the Musée Lamartine,
in Mâcon,
I was ready to pay homage
to the great man,
starting with his umbrella
in a stand by the door,
when my companion
informed me it wasn’t
the real one.
His friend had stolen it
the year before;
whereupon, lo!
I was visited by a vision –

a vision of saints
in agony and ecstasy
or agony of ecstasy
or ecstasy of agony,
and venerable monks
ossifying in ossuaries,
wafers of wood
from crosses and cradles
deposited in depositories,
martyrs’ charnel and chains
encased in cabinets,
some poor sods’ hair and nails
reliquated in reliquaries,
two-thousand-year-old blood
funnelled into phials
to be kissed for a fee ….

What! You really believed
I had a vision – these days?
Never! And yet, mon ami,
duplicitous display
generates genuflection
of the spirit
in manifold multitudes –
because we’re here
to be duped, you see,
knee-benders or not,
n’est-ce pas?


© Nemo 2020
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critique and comments welcome.
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You old cynic, Gerald.
I loved the exquisite alliterations in this enjoyable read. Well done.


There are many times I wish my education was of a higher standard and this is one of them. However I may not have fully understood but I did enjoy the reading. 🙂 Sue.


Yes, true to your more enigmatic style from your brilliant past, Gerald, even if last week’s fresh effort showed what was still possible using the creative capabilities that still exist today if you would only risk submitting something perhaps less ambitious! Reassuring to know the gold thread of quality still runs through the aged brain? A class write, this poem thoroughly enjoyed again, the content and messaging quality being there for all to see, with no need to explicate.


Okay, you sussed me out this time, Gerald…but I usually re-read your re-subs to see if you’ve made any changes, but, this time I’ve been delayed and affected by Winter’s first snow (chaos) here, so…. but then, wasn’t this a re-run of an older version which had been deleted in Feb 2014? Lol! You’re far too defeatist, Gerald, and probably bubbling with ideas at the threshhold of realisation! The gold thread is still intact you see..


Always a pleasure to read your work Gerald, thanks for posting this one.


A very well-crafted and sincerely written poem. I am reminded of Raymond Q, there is <> here,

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