AMP. Always Electric.

Volume 1, No. 1

Spring and the Spirit of Saint Joan

In that rushing, animate place
where Saint Joan bent and sipped
from the river, illiterate but immense
peasant girl with her mystic banner,
I bent down, as if to grasp
the gadabout current’s force, the dauntless
horses of her ambition—

An unnerving surfeit of storm-ridden,
harridan days in Burgundy
tested the shut-in villagers’
roughhewn souls and stamina,
but winter’s fierce marathon
was nothing compared to the grieving mind’s
marksmanship, the flummoxed heart’s
quest. In that Norse-cold,
unremitting kingdom, hungry for light,
avid for crocuses, I could have used
the girl-dressed-as-a-man’s
clear-eyed faith and helmet—

Dear armored dreamer,
I thought I couldn’t bear
another scourging rain,
another friend’s death,

but here are the late-arriving leaves
emblazoning the prayer-path,
the conspicuous blossoms
in the priest’s unhampered orchard

crowding my vision all at once—

Cyrus Cassells

Cyrus Cassells is the author of several books of poetry, including The Crossed-Out Swastika, which was a finalist for the Balcones Prize for Best Poetry Book of 2012. Among his honors are a Lannan Literary Award, a Lamba Literary Award, and the William Carlos Williams Award. He teaches at Texas State University and lives in Austin.