Ex Libris II

I wandered many years alone and wordless

In the midnight shadows of cloister walks

Breathing in the coolness of air infused with spent incense

And feeling the echoes of plainchant still reverberating in my soul

In the silent darkness I would steal away into the library

That housed in over a hundred thousand books

The arcane knowledge of clever scholars and pithy priests

Scorned novelists and languishing poets

Because my mind burned for sacred knowledge

And my heart yearned for a numinous breath of life

Which I secretly possessed but did not yet know


At the break of dawn

When the sun rose in glints of majestic hues

Nature would open her book of secrets

And she turned its pages for me unceasingly

As the cycle of the seasons progressed

Holding nothing back


She would lead me time and time again

Along the curve of the cloister wall

That led to the hedge hidden within a tangled copse

That had been cultivated into a shape

Which reminded me curiously of a womb

– Like an ancient Celtic burial ground –

Until one day I crept inside and wept


I had wanted to be the Bride

I had come to seek holy ground

But instead I found scorched earth

Broken mirrors of human virtue and submission

Which reflected no light


So I found the key to the hidden gate

And carried the cloister of my heart

Into the expanse of the world

I constructed a hermitage made of paper

And arrayed myself in Nature’s gifts


Original poem by Anne Wallace

Music used by permission of the artists of the album Chartres: Catherine Braslavsky and Joseph Rowe
Cello piece “Night in the Cathedral” by Thierry Renard. With gratitude.


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