by Sean O’Neill

Herd these blots 
to iniquity’s sump
and launch them out
into the whirlpool
of pity’s gentle blood,
gouts that drip until
cantering time lays
its troubled head
to rest among thorns.

Wear the threshold
of that glorious door
snuck through past
great jambs akimbo,
where saints passed
before the final slam,
the turning of eternity
where judgment waits
for every human past.

But here, mercy, hide
the shame of being
with webs of truth,
staked down into
the bulging topsoil
of heaven’s bright clouds
like a pardon doled,
a reprieve posted and spilt
into the waiting soul.

Sean O’Neill was born in Scotland, but has lived in the USA for the past 15 years and is a lay minister of a church in Lansing, Michigan. He has had poetry published in a variety of journals, including First Things, The Ottawa Literary Review, Living Bulwark, Reformed Journal, Clay Jar Review and American Literary. Sean has published 17 collections of poetry and is the author of five novels and four non-fiction books, including the bestselling How To Write a Poem: A Beginner’s Guide. He runs the Kolbitars Poetry Group in Lansing, Michigan, USA.

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