In the Footsteps of Angels


Beauty sat like a demure
Buddha on the mountaintop
and watched me,
another pair of eyes
to remind it of its purpose,
as I climbed.


I entered the sky and
the sky was a holy pool
too blue for sinners,

but welcoming me still,
and a dangerous joy touched
me in a place outside my body,
and I am certain I heard
rustlings in the next world.


I looked for them:
the angels this palace was
created for,
but they never came to
wash my face in gold.


I only saw frail gods with
cathedral wings,
those insects seductive
blossoms offer wine to.


And after the baby emperors
sip from their cups of
chablis they blur into
blossoms themselves, the
air unwinding all around them,
making us feel we are locked
in a world much too slow,
and much too hard.


But they aren't angels
and the Edens of this
fraying, tear-stained quilt
are not heaven.


It was in the valley that
I found the summit:
tattered but gleaming
like the tiny skies that burn
here and there upon the water.


Hearts bless the silver spirit
that drinks the setting sun.


Where Heaven drinks hell,
where cries are silenced,
that is where I find the
footprints of angels
and God's dazzling eyes,
and everything that sprouts
green and precious upon the


Because love reaches up,
and brings Heaven down.


by Patricia Joan Jones

Author's Notes/Comments: 

This poem received a Special Recognition Award for the 9th VoicesNet International Poetry Competition, a Wanda Fable Weaver Award at The Golden Quill poetry forum, The Galadrial's Goblet Award at Galadrial's Respite, and was chosen poem of the month at the Poet's Point poetry forum. First published in Voices: Spirit of Stregnth (2004)

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