The Martyrdom of St. Peter of Verona painting by Bellini
Here’s a poem by John Guzlowski :
The martyr does not die. He lives to create more like him.
The conscience lives behind an anonymous window
In tangletown. It is difficult to find the right one.
You call and call and there is no answer. But never
A busy signal. The martyrs climb one side
Of a mountain and descend the other. It is a world
Full of dangers, hidden crevasses, avalanches,
And so overwhelmingly beautiful they sometimes
Wish they could die right there. They endure
Hardship and posthumous fame
With its bitter aftertaste, the feeling of looking
Almost into infinity, which leaves them giddy,
As if drunk. They carry miles of rope for their descents.
So many martyrs. So much rope. So much
Climbing and descending. Though very hard, their work
Goes on. The conscience, meanwhile, cooks an egg.
It brushes water on a hard crust and fries it in a skillet,
Making it chewable. It may go to market later today,
but then again it may wait until tomorrow.