Daniel King

St Teresa of Avila


The seven-roomed clear castle

My vision’s castle of the soul

Appears to be of diamond

But I suspect its crystal

Is really frozen Holy Water.

And I have spent hours contemplating water

Water as cold as convent stones beneath my discalced feet

Spent brief hours thinking of bright water flowing

Like two long lines of words

From the Two Fountains –

Especially the continuously bubbling one-source fountain:


The water of that fountain never scatters into droplets

That freeze and spiral into hell

Like dying snowflakes –

Snowflakes that in my other vision

Are souls torn apart by rainbows

Of seven dark colours.

I pray my mother Beatriz never bowed her head

Beneath such rainbows

I pray the Counter-Reformation

Can assuage all souls

And I hope with all my words that I am not contradicting myself

For they are the expression of my thoughts

From the Beloved.

May others shape them like my perfect seven-roomed castle –


And though its walls are now foreshortened quartz

They still leave clear foundations in my mind;

The efflorescing crystal still exhorts

My soul and souls alive today to find

If it is like those others have defined.

And likest is vnto that heavenly towre

That God hath built for his own blessed bowre.


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