I once had a new pair of shoes that kept leaving marks in the appropriate places. So I investigated this phenomenon and watched stuff about them, trying to imagine a little of what it might have been like, by metaphor.

each nail of judgement

sinks deep into my flesh

hammered home by reason


the leaden, blunted edges

pierce my ankles.

I try not to get cross.


the sharp verbal point

drains all the fluid

out of my lungs, my sails


the vinegar sponge

is brought close my lips

for me to suck upon


the cup of myrrh

full of bitter tannins,

rasps at my palette


all my water-colours fade

wearing a pendant

of thorny, bloody tears


I am the Stigmata

who no-one wants to see;

am I here or am I gone?


to be such a Stigmata

is a sign of the times.

A pariah knows his place.


He clasps his palms together

Bodhi, Mind and Heart

Ajna, Mouth and Core


and the Stigmata

genuflects before God

for he brings only, a temporary stain


To be washed out

To be cleansed

To be deodorized


a Stigmata, stigmatized

abandoned, desolate

and almost entirely alone.