Lamartine’s Umbrella

Better to re-submit a poem than not submit at all. This one 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 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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Always a pleasure to re-read your work, Gerald, but why not new submissions?.


Wonderful to read. Impossible to single a few things out as the whole is excellent.

Rachel 🙂

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