When the sky splits
and everyone dies of fear, seeing the angels
looking through to them
when all the terrible creatures
God made visible to Ezekiel
descend to Earth, living indeed
to cleanse it of our traces
when the massed wings of the Heavenly Host
fill the page of the codex
in rank on rank, an appalling tessellation of
black and scarlet and gold and coming after
how can you tear yourself away
from the spectacle of these warnings?
Look at the artist, bending
all his concentration onto the last
feather and staring eye
obsessively at work, while under his window
the world grinds on. There is tyranny,
there is disease and famine. Soldiers come.
The poor suffer.
The rivers are turned to poison
without that bitter star.
Judith Taylor was born and brought up in Perthshire, Scotland. She studied English and Mediaeval History at St Andrews University and spent the early part of her career as a librarian. She now lives and works in Aberdeen, Scotland, where she is a co-organiser of the monthly Poetry at Books and Beans events. Her poetry has appeared widely in magazines and anthologies: her first collection, Not in Nightingale Country, was published in 2017, and her second, Across Your Careful Garden, is out now from Red Squirrel Press. She is a longtime volunteer with North-East Scotland’s literature and art magazine Pushing Out the Boat and is one of the Editors of Poetry Scotland. http://sometimesjudy.co.uk/
The Ekphrastic Review
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