myth and poetry

mythopoetry Scholar


Matter & Beauty
Mythopoetry Scholar Ezine

She Is Spirit,
-Chris Paris

and she is timeless,  hence;
yet, visage and soma she bares
as you and I,  though an ikon;
and real as you and I,  as she  is we,
   she  the spirit in us;  yet not  of us all,
      paradox  of glory.

You’ve seen her  at the battlements,
barricades  of time’s  cobbled streets
she  wearing  le bonnet-rouge,
and breasts bare  all  in her glory,
a fearless  Marianne  intrepid
Liberateur,  she,  before all others;

or she  in the eyes  of Easter Monday’s
Martyrs,  whose mists  from emerald waters
could never forget,  rising in their eyes  spectres
of children starving  years before gone by;
they,  while standing  on their scaffolds,
‘for a far far better thing’ they’d done
for their children, wives, and mothers to come;

and she serene,  yet resolute  the gaze
of victories  always won,  for of spirit
implacable are they,  and remembered,
at the harbor  of audacious hope—
a Madonna standing  of a people
who have always  cared for others,
her embrace  freedom’s compassion
   for all.

But, beware you,  lords of casuistry
wherever you are,  there or here,
you  who make right  for yourselves,
declare freedom  exclusive  for yourselves,
your theocracies  woven into  indentures
for the other  but never  for yourselves;
you  who suppose  too much
about Liberty  for yourselves;

for Marianne  is vengeance, too,
our tigress in disguise,  and
rife with horror can she be,
she  who forgets not  your profanities,
those you play out,  and offend  her beauty,
those you have played out  forever—

the homeless  pushed  to the margins,
vagrants  for others’ wealth sustained;
sickness and death  bartered  for riches;
the unemployed  deprived of alms,
their desperations  out-heard  in foolish debate;
majesties and resource  dear to life  defiled;
techno-precedence  pollutes  over life;
mongerers of power  rally obscene
with no respect  for human rights;
hecklers, violence in their eyes, amassed
casting bricks  and prejudice  upon all;

supremacists, oppressionists,  ensconced  always
in bags,  or hoods,  or embroidered sleeves
through the ages  who enslave  human dignity
with discrimination,  deprivation,  and fear;
abuses that seed hate,  that foster  revenge
that birth true  Liberty  fierce in her eyes,
       our tigress  who never  forgets:
Marianne  who will never desist  to rally
the ramparts  even strewn  with the fallen;
for her saber  sings terrible,  fierce and true,
always,  through tempests that defame
her spirit,  and her glory  in us  forever.

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poet, Chris ParisAuthor Bio
Chris Paris, PhD is Associate Professor of English at University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas where he has taught for the past twenty-seven years, and holding administrative positions for at least half of his professional academic career, there, as Department Chair of academic literacy in English, Director of UIW’s Learning Communities Program, and Assistant Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.  Presently, he teaches English full time—courses in rhetoric, rhetoric theory, rhetoric criticism, literature, and creative writing.  He received his doctorate in English Literature at Texas A&M University, College Station, where he specialized in the fields of medieval literature, seventeenth-century English literature, modernist American literature, and textual studies.  Before his academic pilgrimage, he spent fifteen years in retail management in New York City, and in San Antonio.  His children, Elizabeth and Nicholas, in his own words, “exceed any and all other priorities of my life; they are the true reason and inspiration for why we as parents do what we do.”

Chris has teamed up with Dennis Patrick Slattery to produce a book of poetry, "The Beauty Between Words" (2010, Waterforest Press, publisher.) Here is a video preview.

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