And where is the way
From one world to the other?
From shore to Stygian shore?
Where is the portal?
Up on the platform
Under the Bridge of Sighs
Within the Tombs
Shaped of ancient Egypt
Shade of Eastern ends
Staring stubborn doom
At multitudes unruly
Mulberry Bend
Its courtyard colored
Full of freckled faces
Hardened as Bowery
Brick and mortar. 
They lead him forward
Hands tied
To the portal they erected
For the time being
For the time passing
For the time escaping
(Heavier for him
Than anything borne)
To stand on the portal
To drop.

An exemplary end
Purposeful, punitive
A rite of man
Mandated marked
The time chosen
The time arriving.

He kisses the cross
Blest portal
Of the Christ condemned
Asphyxiated at the Skull
Giving weight
To Seven Last Words.

“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”

Grand and generous
To lose a life
He never had.
Grave words weighted
Enough to etch in granite.

“When my country takes her place among the nations of the world,
then, and not ‘til then, let my epitaph be written. I have done.”

Magnanimous silent stone!
Pass the fight with fools
From Fenian dead
To Fenian living.
Faugh a ballagh!
Fog of valor!

Time comes, trap falls.
Through the portal he passes
Kicking like a kid
Newborn, held high.

John Kearns

has a Masters Degree in Irish Literature from the Catholic University of America and lives in Manhattan, where he has had several full-length and one-act plays produced.  His play “In the Wilderness” will have two staged readings as part of NYC’s  Planet Connections Theatre Festivity in June. Recent fiction publications include “A Tragic Story by Beatrice Mahon, O.P.” “Chances,” and “Dreams and Dull Realities” in DM. His novel, “The World,” was published in 2003 and his novel-in-progress, “Worlds,” was a finalist in the 2002 New Century Writers’ Awards. His poetry has recently appeared in the WestView newspaper in Greenwich Village, the ASBDQ experimental text journal, and the Write On Maui E-zine.