This is a poem I wrote to observe the Matanzas massacres that occurred fourteen miles south of St. Augustine, Florida in September and October 1565. It is written from the point of view of one of the French martyrs.
"Ne Jamais Oblier"
Wisps of spirit, cleverly hidden;
Amidst the sea-grasses they rise;
Broken snatches of an old tongue;
Beautiful and prophetic.
Psalms from blood-drenched hearts;
Whispered in the morning;
Echoing across unforgiving time;
Memories of injustice.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted”;
To deny truth is worse than death;
Proudly raising eyes to cold steel;
Wracked with numbing fear.
Blood flowing o’er the sands;
Slaughter in paradise;
Waves breaking, gulls crying;
Drowning out the silent cries.
Forgotten, crawling soundlessly;
Scratched eternal in reddened sands
Are words of painful martyrdom;
Ne jamais oublier, never forget.
No crime committed;
Roman doctrines duly disavowed;
Souls ripped forth with cruelty;
For upholding God’s pure Word.
October breeze upon my brow;
Flush with life and youth;
Heart a battleground of conflicts;
Waiting for the sword to fall.
Desperately straining for life;
Meeting only with darkness;
“Renounce your errors!”
Sweet Jesus, receive me.
Still the whispering sea-oats rise;
Fresh breezes roll nonchalantly
As if hatred never reigned here;
Ignorant of lingering grief.
Only birds and water dwellers
Witness blood-red tides
Feel uneasy silence reigning
As silent screams echo.
Land of growth and promise;
Vessel of blessed freedom;
Cruelly sanctified with blood
Faith never disavowed;
Bravely declared as fate spoke;
Fear and courage hand in hand;
Disbelief . . . then darkness.
A cold passage of centuries;
Names lost in dusty memory;
Reigning in the place of lost souls;
Honor and regret is due them.
(c) 2012 Joyously Saved