Beauty Unframed author Lisa Elmers writes about life, loveliness, and seeing something where you thought there was nothing.

noli me tangere

noli me tangere

do not for a moment believe

that the seraphim’s wing

is anything

like the paper fan or gilded flake

– all with lapis imbricate –

the old masters put to paint

on dim and shallow boards.


neither are they feathered

however they’re shown –

with baby down or bristling barb

soapstone points of Crivelli’s carving,

or the chubby stubs of Michelangelo.

no, no.


they are nothing fair or slight

they are not – wholly – for flight.


ecstatic isaiah moans, struck dumb

down prone, lifts eyes, heart

(body: chilled still, too still to stand)

to those seraphim

around the throne –


with two wings each they fly

but with the other four, protect them

from seeing and being seen

shield their shale feet, frail &

shutter their soft eyes from searing


this is no ceremony,

nor is God’s pomp pretended –

HE blinds like a sun unsheathed

& burns as the naked star –


but here all saying ceases.

for how can words & pretty paint find

their way to walk this path

where even angels are blind?


afternoon, in antiquities

afternoon, in antiquities

Jazz in the Garden

Jazz in the Garden