Click here if you don’t see subscription options
Amit MajmudarDecember 14, 2023

Perceval almost        pierced the veil,
never uttered     a Christ-laced curse.
Purity of heart     is to will one thing,
wrote Kierkegaard    before the churchyards
turned charnel houses  in excruciated Europe.
Was it a Lapis Exilis,     mother meteorite,
or a lapis lazuli     dish set with wished-
for cuts of fresh meat     in a famine culture,
or a cup that caught      the red of revelation?
Chrétien de Troyes      recounted the trials,
but I trust no poet      pimping a tale.
I figure the Grails were    detours en route
to a single failure,      and all this suffering
night after night    in shining ardor,
in rosary-haunted   Brocéliande,
just served to stir     the gallant heart
of a Galahad     to attempt and test
truth by joust, pursuing    the relic, the elixir
on a pilgrim trail      to the impossible castle.

As a bony boy,      a squirt of a squire,
I imagined its magic       in verbal terms,
an infinite inkwell,      a song Sangraal,
heartsblood held    in the mouth’s round
brimmed, overbrimmed,   meniscal cupola.
Wondering whether    my words were worthy.
I sallied forth      in search of a form,
May the poem, grasped    and penned, be the Grail
sustaining hearts     healed for a spell,
fed in their hunger      not heavenly manna
but humbly kneaded     human bread.

More: Poetry

The latest from america

While reductive narratives depict priests as perfect heroes or evil villains, said writer and producer Father Stephen Fichter, the truth is more complicated.
“At the root of this vice is a false idea of God: we do not accept that God has His own “math,” different from ours,” Pope Francis said in today’s general audience address, read by an aide.
Pope FrancisFebruary 28, 2024
Pope Francis went from the audience to Rome’s Gemelli Hospital for a checkup before returning to the Vatican. In November when he was suffering similar symptoms, he had gone to that hospital for a CT scan of his lungs.
Robert Giroux edited some of the 20th century's leading writers, including some prominent Catholic voices like Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy and Thomas Merton.
James T. KeaneFebruary 27, 2024