Ash Wednesday


In the East,

beyond the desert and the great mountains,

beyond the frozen lakes,

there is a Space.

On this perfect winter day

there is a crisp clear sky

above the broad snow-covered Space.

The Space is bound

by the Obelisk and the Sitting Man,

and it is Our Heart.


Now the sun crowns the Obelisk.

You come upon it suddenly,

walking to the Sitting Man from the Obelisk,

passing the ice-still pond, then around the low hill

this terrible dark wound in the Space!

The soldiers sculpted from eternity

gaze toward it in wonder

this many-named signature of the God of War.


One nurse compassionately cradles the blinded warrior,

a modern Pieta stanching his broken chest,

the next searches the sky for succor’s hope,

and what must lie beneath the stare of the third,

she who has beheld the deaths of so many!


Peter Ahrens

1994 revisited 2004

Nexial Quest (c) Pete Ahrens 1999 - 2012