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The Tourist and the Text by Jeanne Scroggs

Even below the sheen of glass it glittered
bold, all swirls and intricate perfection.
He touched a finger to the glass, traced
the path of circles and arcs, the certain strokes
of a life of clarity never swamped
by its vast anonymity. Cradled
in the arms of wet gray-green hills, gray
ocean crashing, someone huddled, a mass of
shoulders bent, illuminating the art
of God’s Words, adding the flourishes of
a private heart speaking to the future
in a song of letters; here in the margins
an implish monk with an erection still
bends his back to an eternal yoke of
Joy, holding a fossil faith like a petal
pressed by time, patiently unearthed by
dental picks and soft brushes.

Jeanne Scroggs is a poet, essayist, and artist currently residing in Winterset, IA.
She can be reached at