“A Tale Of Two Houses,” “Crystal and Pond House” and “The Road Veers Away” by Christopher Woods
The Devil and Saint Michael of the Rock
by Taylor Graham
Heaven thundering and land dissolving
as salt-surge breaks every-which-way into storm-swell—
isn’t that just the natural world? Perhaps
the merchant’s prayers saved him. And yet
the church he vowed to build keeps falling down.
Every stone he placed by hand is gone next morning,
tossed over the edge into a famished ocean,
as if Brent-Tor couldn’t stand the weight of one more stone.
The wealthy merchant is running out of cash
in this Sisyphus task, hauling up rocks that roll
So the merchant prays again to Michael, who hurls
a boulder at the devil—more rock-fall. Devil limps off
with a gimpy heel. He’ll be back.
But here, at last, a standing church—so small, it just fits
the tip of a beacon-tor, volcanic iceberg
in a tiding sea of land. Does earth yearn
with the devil? Subduction and fault, temblor, eruption,
Here’s this church with its stained
window fragile as ship in storm, glittering