Henry Treece

(22 December 1911 – 10 June 1966 / Wednesbury, Staffordshire)

Martyr Poem by Henry Treece


He lay, wrapped in a world of mutilated hands,
Of trees that walked by night and grinning clouds;
To bellowing of bulls, his dream's black cloth
Ripped and let dropp a heart stuck full of swords.

He walked, and by his side there strode a shade
Whose tattered hood half-hid a ram's dry skull:
'There is a place set for me at God's side.'
Said Ram, 'A door swings open outside Hell!'

He rose, upon hysteric wreaths of love,
Soared, nailed to an unrelenting beam;
Through airs that tingled with a child's low cries
He glided, gentle as a girl's soft dream

Of hyacinth and marjoram, in bowers
Of vernal holiness, where at a sigh
The leaves bend back like gracious hostesses
To introduce a lover, golden in glee.

He smashed the bowl of bitterness, let spill
His freighted nightmares on the weeping world.
His soul, ecstatic as the chains fell free,
Sped in the likeness of a tiny bird.

Submitted: Saturday, April 28, 2012

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