"The Seventh Seal"

Khashayar Mohammadi

Khashayar Mohammadi is an Iranian-born, Toronto-based poet, writer, translator, and photographer and the author of the poetry chapbooks Moe’s Skin (ZED press, 2018) and Dear Kestrel (knife | fork | book, 2019). He is currently working on a full-length collaborative poetry manuscript with Toronto poet Terese Pierre, as well as a full length poetry manuscript of his own.

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"'The Seventh Seal' is based on Ingmar Bergman's medieval film of the same name and aims to explore its ideologies."

     a parting of bruised clouds

     sunrays pierce the opacity of the ocean

     waves sand down rocks into mirrors

     the sun shines so the devil can find us in daylight

     the eloquence of death leads to a vision

     a naked soul atop a naked body shrivelled 

     from a plague painted on frescoes

     the companionship of spirits in church

     where god eludes all extended hands

     but at the edge of life one can peer

     into the abyss and beckon silence

     the wonder that is the body 

     pulsating with premature life

     and a miasma punitive to all

     a crusade chastens idealists

     thuribles purify the holy path

     and a plague shrivels the realists

     flagellants who pour their blood

     into bile to keep away witches

     purge black death by fire

     the insignificance of another dusk

     when death excepts no knight or jester

     a drop of water for the witch

     before alighted at the stake

     not to console the dying

     but to console all who live

     and after the storm: dappled in sunlight

     a look of contentment while death hangs

     on a branch by the troubadours’ tent

     a little pleasure for the townsfolk

     before thuribles lead the way again

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