Friday, November 14, 2008

Poetry Friday / Parisian Gargoyle

When the long season of rain comes to Seattle, I begin to fantasize about going to Paris. Not Cancun, not Santa Cruz. Paris - where it also rains. Well, in honor of rain and Paris, I'll post a poem from my latest book, Imaginary Menagerie, and it's about a gargoyle. Tomorrow, when I have my coffee, I'm going to pretend that I'm sitting in the park adjacent to the beautiful and simple church of St. Julien-le-Pauvre, in the shadow of Notre Dame. Maybe it's beginning to rain. Maybe a gargoyle from the cathedral looks down on me.


How can a beast speak
with a stone tongue,
with a stone throat?

My mouth is a rainspout.
I screech. I shout.

How can a beast fly
with stone wings?

I fly when the bells ring
and the hunchback is home.

Does a stone beast sleep
in a stone nest?

I am on guard.
I never rest.


Poetry Friday is being hosted this week by Yat-Yee Chong

Thanks to Sara, who sent me on a hunt for photos of gargoyles on the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. They are especially eerie, since they are "modern" (sunglasses, movie cameras, gas masks, etc.) Eek. Here's one to give you nightmares:


  1. There are frightful and amusing gargoyles at our National Cathedral in DC too. But I'm with you on the Paris dream.

  2. Love the poem! It's been years since I've been in Paris. I will daydream with you.

  3. I'd choose Paris over those destinations any day. I love building and roof ornamentation, but especially gargoyles. (I have a pair of "reading gargoyles" as bookends!)

    Did I mention how much I like this poem? Thanks for sharing it.

  4. You know I love that poem. And Paris. And its gargoyles. And Sara's completely correct about the gargoyles at the National Cathedral.

  5. Julie,

    I love the gargoyle poem and Julie's illustrations that's paired with it in IMAGINARY MENAGERIE. It's a lovely poetry book.

  6. Thanks, all. I have a special fondness for that poem, too. I have been browsing around, googling "gargoyles" (that sounds like someone who took too large a drink of juice - "googling gargoyles" - mmpff, glug, splutter!) So I found a lovely one from the National Cathedral (thank you, Sara) and decided to add it to the post.

  7. Great poem and I love the modern gargoyle. Such character in its face -- hard to believe he's carved of stone.

  8. *sigh* I love gargoyles-- have some gargoyle photos hanging in my hallway-- and this poem makes me happy. Thanks.