Mulberry by Terrence Sykes


morus nigra — sanctus dominus
by Terrence Sykes

The mulberry struggles
through bricks in the
corner of the piazza
Santa Maria del Carmine
past the Ponte Vecchio
just across the Arno

cusp of day
left then left
prophecy of
double damnation
stepping into darkness
candles & incense

Masaccio fresco
birth of the Renaissance
stillness in the church
laden with history
has my past followed me

Adam & Eve
pastel chiaroscuro
sworded angel damning
driven from the Garden
not even a fig leaf
shamed & exiting Eden

priestly voices
echoing annunciations
closure foretold
escorted by robes
cast upon

verdant shadows
dappled light
forbidden fruit
gathered & palmed
sweeter than any apple

temptation on the lips
stigmata hands
marked like Cain
meandering lost
mist & fog upon
streets of Florence

PHOTO: Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy, by Kevin Phillips, used by permission. 

NOTE: The Ponte Vecchio is a medieval stone closedspandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy. It is noted for the shops built along it, as was once common. Butchers, tanners, and farmers initially occupied the shops; the present tenants are jewelers, art dealers, and souvenir sellers. 


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I found this Thrift Store Cross before my trip and I carried in my satchel …to bless it in the churches of Florence …piazza of Santa Maria del Carmine…. I’m spiritual not religious but lots of my poems speak of faith and the struggles of old and new beliefs.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Although Terrence Sykes is a far better gardener-forager-cook . . . his poetry-photography-flash fiction have been published in Bangladesh, Canada, Ireland, India,  Mauritius, Pakistan, Scotland, Spain, and the USA . . . he was born and raised in the rural coal mining area of Virginia and this  isolation brings the theme of remembrance to his creations — whether real or imagined.

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