The Impresario (part eleven)

Posted by ractrose on 15 Oct 2019 in Art, Poems

Oil painting of staring-eyed man before dramatic night sea




The Impresario

Part Eleven


This fate invoked, Pierre avoids reprisal

Lays hand on Tortu’s arm in sad rapport

Doing so he slips aside and she

Her face washed clean of paint, still washed in tears

Yet seen through penitent’s eyes become unblemished

Returns to him not knowing by what fault

She has offended, and she does not care

The impresario won’t hear her call him master

He catches her before her knees strike earth

Catches her and draws her in embrace

“No,” she says, in answer, “no. You will never go without me.”

If he allows it…the linen of his shirt warmed by her breath

It would be comfort, charity beyond his worth

“Will you not have me, then?” she asks.

And the impresario tells her, “Yes.”


But at this, hooves thunder and harness bells ring

Guardsmen dismount with a clatter and clang

Their tabards carry the Bishop’s arms

Poignards sheathed at a nod and word

From the infamous lips of the Friar Gaspard

Whose counsels are always taken

So intimate has he made him

With his revered lord’s peccadilloes

This heretic’s bane makes a claim to have studied

By use of the bastannade, water, and rack

By fiery tongs and the H-shaped device

Proudly worn for a sign round his neck—

The unconfessed sin Gaspard winnows

“Yes, say that a man were no felon

Say falsely he’d been accused…

But yet, let me have my way with him

My persuasions are never refused.”

Gaspard boasts that all men are guilty

No servant devout would deny it

“You! Hand over this fugitive to me

For the blasphemer’s sentence is death.”




Oil painting of characters Pierre and Regalus in the Bishop's prison

Part Twelve















(2017, Stephanie Foster)




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