St Anne Arrives in Radcliffe – Julie Lumsden

St Anne Arrives in Radcliffe


Christina the Astonishing arrives in Covert Crescent

to Prepare The Faithful for The End of Days.


Oh Lord, where am I?

Where is my narrow cot, my book?

ostHdd Who is this man following me from room to room?

Yesterday I let him guide me to the Health Centre –

the five wounds of my stigmata sparking fire, eyes

blinded by visions.  The Paschal Moon began it. 

The Friday Passion sent me cawing to the rafters

in front of a congregation shifty with embarrassment. 

Only the anorexic child understands

and suggests building me a hermitage

in trees behind the playing field.

Father Feeney emails the Vatican about my knowledge

of twelfth century Latin, he cocks his head to one side

that way he has, eyes bluer than Mary’s robe,

I’ve tried not to always let my eyes

return to him even in the bits he sits out.

The Mass is not what it was –

during what they call their Sign of Peace,

an elderly woman, attempting to embrace me,

was blown the length of the church

by my reluctant sigh. Dear God, how may I

prepare these people for the shattering?

I’m not so much sickened by the stench of sin

as shocked by the paltriness of their concerns.

How do I deal with them?  How may I

live the ordinary stuff of days, who have flown

higher than the sucking mouths of angels,

through a crack in the universe

to plunge my fist into a pulsating heart?