The Visitation of the Virgin to Saint Elizabeth
Sonnets for Heaven's Queen

Ark of the Covenant

We walked through sun, we thirsted, and we starved,

When strange snow fell on Sinai’s burning sand;

We ate thereof, and listened, and we carved

A chest to bring it to the Promised Land.


We made the case of wood that doth not rot,

Acacia, and covered it in gold;

It held the law, the manna, Aaron’s rod,

As Mary Christ, our Bread, the Priest foretold.


Tis said the Virgin, new with child, had crossed

The hills of Judah to her cousin’s home,

Upon the very path, for some years lost,

Whence David brought the Ark, through grass and brome;


That John, within his mother’s womb, had leapt,

As David danced, before God’s promise kept.

From Sonnets for Heaven’s Queen © Joseph Charles MacKenzie. All rights reserved.

Winner of the 2020 Society of Classical Poets Competition (America's highest honor in classical verse), Joseph Charles MacKenzie is a traditional lyric poet of New Mexico. He is also the only American to have won the Scottish International Poetry Competition (see: Times Literary Supplement, Jan 27, 2017). A Pushcart Prize nominee, MacKenzie's verses have appeared in The New York Times, The Scotsman (Edinburgh), The Independent (London), The Telegraph (London), and many other venues. He wirtes primarily for Trinacria (New York) and the Society of Classical Poets (New York).

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