new zealand electronic poetry centre

Mary Stanley

online works

Cut off by Tides…

Cut off by tides we here are islanded
also by time and graver circumstance.
Now is Christ mocked beneath whose star we sleep;
the double centaurs’ fire of flints the candid
eye strikes shut, and I am lost to chance
our love plays false, more falsely moved to weep.
The tears of things are turned to stone and fear
my bedfellow lies nightly by my side.
The deadly sins at seven marked by pride
to fall by midnight mea culpas where
the unstopped ear notes prey and praise. The least
victim, priest and host, none here escapes.
More Hamlet I, this poison feed my son
who never will be born. The little ghost
is prince of all the slain, with thorns he keeps
his feast, and by his sign we may atone.
Our traitor breath makes sinners of us all.


© Mary Stanley

Last updated November 26, 2002