Motus In Fine Velocior [rev. 12-29-2018]

Motus In Fine Velocior
-After Saint Clement I, Pope and Bishop of Rome, Third Successor of Saint Peter the Apostle, Servant of the Servants of God, Martyr

The oxen, yoked to the cart,
pull, against the grave, the weight
of centuries of quarrying living stones–
cut to fit against the cornerstone.

The marble and granite of the mountain
is lowered one stone from one stone.
The descent of cart to valley
crosses hemmed in and desperate ground.

The winding of the oxen down the slope,
aimed to level the valley and straighten the way,
demands a plodding and careful patience.
The driver must halt often to test the metal

of the linchpins, balance of the yoke, and integrity of the harness.
Hubris on any grade too steep–impatience born of pride–
and the oxen, unmoored from their purpose,
would stampede off their course, and the cart,

succumbing to gravity, would hasten away,
wheels wavering under the load’s
increasing turbulence of torqued velocity.
Not if, but when, one of two tragedies await:

rupture of wheels from axle or splinter&fracture of impact.
One measure hastens, and one stone–miscut for milling grain–
is turned to make an anchor, roped both to cart and oxen
with fulcrum placed, readied to be leveraged from the load–

load on cart with oxen bound to that hope,
set apart and turned to the last end
Who halts all hastening
towards the tragic graves of gravity.