"Heresy," a poem by Boris Ilyin

Yesterday I got an envelope in the mail and in it was a poem from my father. He's edging up on ninety-one, just to give you some context. But no wimped-out guy, he. Still painting, writing, calling me on his cell phone to make sure I'm eating. Here's the poem:


They say now that the Dialogue in Heaven
Of whose stark end we are the flying grit,
Was won by Satan, whose triumphant hordes
Unfurled red banners and with furious zeal
Plunged outward into space to spread his power.

He left the Loser dead upon a cross,
To live again, but now to be confined
In silvered ikons glinting in the light
Of true lampadas and of sleeping children--
Or now to be displayed on penthouse walls
With other accent pieces-- yet to bless
Alike the infant and the gracious liver
And the director of the KGB
And the most distant, barren galaxies
Forever hurtling on their outward course
Since Satan's victory on that mighty day.

Boris Ilyin