Odessa Cathedral, July 2023

Poem by John Lampen

'Smoke now and dust profane the eucharist.'

The rash of wounded cities spreads across
the map; I walk Odessa in my mind
once more, to join a festival of loss,
of torn-up friendships in a poisoned land.

Into this sacred space we came together
with knees which faithful bent, with lips which kissed
the antique ikon of our Holy Mother.
Smoke now and dust profane the eucharist.

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