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Poem: "When Griffins Nest" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "When Griffins Nest"

This poem came out of the January 22, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from janetmiles, the_vulture, and Dreamwidth user Cadenzamuse.  It has been sponsored by janetmiles.  This poem belongs to the series Fiorenza the Wisewoman.

When Griffins Nest

It was not always easy
for a young priest to manage a village,
with everyone's nose always
up in everyone else's business.
Don Candido did the best he could.

Somebody was forever getting into trouble.
Young men started fistfights over young women.
A vampire had come and bitten people;
although the wisewoman had driven it away,
Fiorenza had embarrassed Don Candido
and annoyed the village elders in the process.
Pasquale down the lane had shown an interest
in walking out with girls, but not in marriage.

Somebody was also carrying tales to the Church,
for now and then Don Candido would get a letter
admonishing him to mind his vows
and watch over his flock.

"Do you not believe that girl is too young
for the duties of a wisewoman?"
asked the man who collected the church tithes.
"She gets them done," Don Candido said,
"and she puts her coin in the poorbox on Sundays."

Fiorenza did this without being nagged,
which was more than could be said of some,
even if she fended off strange men in the market at Fermo
without benefit of a father or brother or husband.

"Do you think she could be in league with the Devil?"
asked an itinerant priest on his way to Rome.
"She is a hoyden, not a heretic," Don Candido said,
"and she has rescued young men from the fate."
Just because Fiorenza drove him to distraction
did not mean he would let an outsider
harass one of his villagers.

Don Candido was struck with awe when
a mother griffin took over the belfry in his church,
for he had earned an assignment to a village so young
because of his great sensitivity to numinous matters.

Then he was struck with sorrow when
someone -- surely among the village louts --
killed the griffin and left her hatchlings orphaned.
It was Fiorenza who came to the rescue
and showed Don Candido how to save the grifflets
by feeding them scraps from a puppet shaped like a griffin.

"Do you think it is quite proper for a priest
to spend so much time with an unmarried girl,
even the wisewoman of a village?"
said a letter from the Church in Rome,
after Don Candido had been up all night
with a colicky grifflet and gotten bitten yet again
and then discovered he was out of salve
so he had to walk to Fiorenza's cottage before dawn.

"When griffins nest in the Vatican
and their guardian angels sing along
with the Pope's service," Don Candido wrote,
"then you may come to me with your complaints about
my duty to my vows and the virtue of our wisewoman."

That was the last they heard from Rome on the matter.

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7 comments or Leave a comment
tuftears From: tuftears Date: January 24th, 2013 01:00 am (UTC) (Link)
He's a little testy in that last verse. ^_^
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 24th, 2013 05:12 am (UTC) (Link)


*chuckle* But he has reason to be.
From: technoshaman Date: April 17th, 2013 12:42 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

Yes, yes he does! *punch air*

Don Candido can be a pain in the tukus sometimes, but he looks after his people as best he can...
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 21st, 2013 01:59 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

*cackle* "He's a pain in the butt, but he's OUR pain in the butt."

Don Candido truly does his job well. That's qualification enough in my book.
kelkyag From: kelkyag Date: January 24th, 2013 08:32 am (UTC) (Link)
With cause!
e_scapism101 From: e_scapism101 Date: January 24th, 2013 01:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Go, Don Candido!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 24th, 2013 05:11 am (UTC) (Link)


He is fun to watch when he gets all wound up about something.
7 comments or Leave a comment