The Ancient Modern

Damn Normans  /  Joshua Alan Sturgill

The Norman French destroyed our speech !
Damn Normans !
with duplicate, delicate latinizations,
they clogged the logic of our alphabet:
excessive letterings to bloat their words
and silent vowels — like graves
of unnamed soldiers on a battlefield. 

Damn Normans
muddle half the world with mumbling !

So give me cow for meals, never beef !
And stone to build my temples, never rock !
Give me Jesus, risen out of earth, undelicate !
Not a portrait of a pale saint – but Jesus 
resurrected everywhere at once !
The carven Christ who, sword-clad
crushes death at His command !

Jesus, ancient, present, soon-to-come:
make me to blaze, not merely flame,
to be harbinger of love, not some mere indication !
Restore, O Lord the broken bond
between the spellings and the sounds
and may our incantations then revive
their music and their power !

Lord, give me mud and dirt on prayerful knees, 
not soil satisfied in tame and tender flower beds !

All poetry and supplementary material: copyright 2021 by Joshua Alan Sturgill. All rights reserved.

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