Here are two views of France's Le Mont Saint-Michel as I saw it on the 10th of July, 1999, and the poem that I wrote after my visit there. The poem won the "In the Spotlight" award from The Poetry Page, Ontario, for fall, 1999, and it is in my book,The Alchemy of Opposites (St. John, KS: Chiron Review Press, 2000).
A gold Michael
tops the pinnacle,
a small announcement;
wings apart, sword uplifted,
dragon under foot, he gazes down,
further than pilgrims in the Middle Ages,
who trudged, their view blocked by forest.
A triangle in the distance points to heaven,
from the place called before "tomb on a hill,"
before Archangel Michael troubled Saint Aubert
to mount his monument there. As the people fade
like icing down the narrow streets, the lights turn
stone into gold: this place, this entanglement of history,
with hidden, shoulder-wide stairways, midnight cemeteries,
and massive medieval walls, arches, and the golden pinnacle.
Copyright © Clifton Snider, 2000.