Byzantine Mosaics

By Andrew H. Oerke

Because the tumbledown towers of Time, seabrous blade
of war, bad blood, and the abortive gesture
scythed horizontal through their lives, they made
their Christ, their saints, so vertical in posture
their lowly lives were startled up.

Inadequate in the four seasons' finite ring,
their skill with stone remained to blunt the weather
and to raise a heavenly tower. While chisels rang
the chimes of rocks to raise them high, their fingers' tether
pulled the bell rope down to gather dawn.

But flesh, not made to last, although in shelter
under stuborn stones, groaned nightly in its chains.
It dreamt of stature on the walls, whose rose
and gold mosaics' burnished grains would shine
like stars enrusted in Night's great treasure-dome
that is dwarfed by the measureless matrix of love.