St. Francis

Listen to the poem above.Machu Picchu Enigma

“Machu Picchu Enigma” © 2011 by Jane Shoenfeld
Infinite chickadees gather
at Francis of Assisi’s feet.
A rich man’s coddled son,
that sweet talker was
a wastrel and womanizer
before his conversion
to cheerful man of God
and animal whisperer.
He told finches and tanagers,
Be thankful for your colorful clothes,
and they’ve been chirping gleefully
perched on his statues ever since.

Church lore recounts the time
an adder was poised to strike
before Francis sang it to sleep,
and how, after the Holy Friar
had pleaded with a wolf
to quit devouring people,
the beast became content
to feed on kitchen scraps.

At first, Francis was deemed crazy
and heretical, but in time he turned
his scoffer’s rocks and curses
to welcoming grins and bells
for his entourage of bléssed beggars,
whom he taught,
Value golden coins no more
than pebbles in the road,
all you really need
is a little food, and love.

The man was so blissed out,
in his later years he wrote
a canticle to the sun
whose light he could no longer see.

I imagine his affable manner
made him irresistible to women,
but as he aged, he couldn’t be bothered with romance
as he was free of worldly wealth,
ill and blind,
and flush with love of God
and animals.

Any Song Will Do, Red Mountain Press