This poem features one artistic scene from the famous Book of Kells, from my perspective. I visited Ireland in April, 2016 and visited the exhibit, then brought home an explanatory book that contained some of the scenes from the original. This is my attempt to simply break the image(s) down to poem.
Book of Kells
On this page, a curly haired bearded
monk, unsmiling, seated above
and surrounded by circles,
partly conceals a text in his robe.
Circles abound, perfection
symbolic across the solemn
incomplete squares, open knotted
harmony, green gold Celtic
visionary, and on the side a beast.
What story is this? A man alone
in a field of geometry and esoterics.
Jesus, that’s it. Christ on a cross
and a circle of thorns upon his
beaten and knotted brow,
He the Word made Flesh,
He hidden in theorems and color,
God a curly-headed monk, a blond
in an Asian robe.
this rectangular blessing,
this calling, this exegesis.
And the earth, too, is a circle,
and the sky a fragment,
female, rising above but ultimately
left off the page.