Legras - Refuge of Sinners
Sonnets for Heaven's Queen

Refuge of Sinners

No here, no there, no compass point but down,

All roads, all routes, all pathways end the same.

A shadow wanders in a foreign town…

Outcast! Exiled! A fugitive of shame!


How sharp the rock that strikes a fleeing back!

The soul runs shackled to its double, Sin,

Contrition is a lash’s whir and smack,

As the devouring darkness closes in.


Mother, whom thy Son gave me from His Cross,

Hath not thy lacerated heart a place

For one who wails his own salvation’s loss

And seeks the refuge of your soft embrace?


“Twas I who asked thy sovereign Judge to mend

Thy heart in mine: For, hell, it hath no end.”

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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