Venice, a poem

Venice, a poem

Light here flaunts itself over the lagoon,

pink and gold.  Canals bustle with wealth and light.

Marble panels, windows and vast mirrors

shimmer serenely with luminescence.

Everywhere waster sweetly lisps and slaps.

The gilded horses, domes and cupolas,

every palazzo, flourish banners of light.


The pilgrim and his pilgrim companions

will have none of it.

They serve, hour by hour,

in the din, the stench, of the hospitals;

crazily waving their hats for attention

they preach, in the marshtowns, with foreign tongues

the Christ-foolery of the gospels.

They await the ship to Jerusalem,

which will never leave, and the call to Rome,

if God so wills: each is the other place.




For pilgrims (always limping),

strolling, walking, running,

are exercises in love, in prayer.


Andrew Bullen, SJ

Ignatius the Pilgrim: Poems and Prayers, 2013