Springboard

The Last Vision of Saint Joan

part of: The Wanderers

by The Archives of Raynah

The Last Vision of St. Joan

by Eduardo, Nightwandering Deznahdorean of the First Generation

When the last of your childhood visions faded
morning came.

Your cocky soon-to-be king waited in the wings.

The people of your ancestral lands,
beleaguered by foreign warriors,
had called out in desperate dreams for a leader.

Even in those days of the rule of men
they called for a woman.

Something in their bones knew
it was that touch they needed.

You heard them as a small child,
answered their call,
mysteriously produced visions that convinced you
it was time to go.

You waited for no man to approve.
You donned the sword of your mind,
the armor of your unseatable courage,
the shield of your rapt devotion,
sprang forth to do the only kind of battle
envisoned in your time
as a leader of soldiers.

Yes, you repelled the English and their Burgundian dogs
until the mealy-mouth brat of Valois
sat on a bloody throne.
Is it surprising he found it expedient
to let his charismatic savior
be condemned to death,
pass on to grim subjugation of his own people
who would be no better off than before you came.

War was the favorite sport of French kings,
indeed, of all kings. You, merely a weapon.

As the cold of your certain death
pierced the heat of your mind a voice boomed there.
“What is it you think you have accomplished?
Does it really matter whose claim is pure enough
to command a throne
when the children die,
when there is no food to put in their mouths
because the soldiers have taken everything?”

It was not the voice of Catherine the Saint!
not the voice of Michael, Archangel, not Jesus,
not Mary, not God.

“Who dares speak so
to the savior of France?, her mind demanded.”

“I do!”
came the reply
as the darkness was suddenly filled with light.

For the first time
you looked within
instead of without.

Your mind, fragmented since birth
by the desperations of war,
put it all together at last,
revealed clearly
the source of all your Voices—-
your woman’s heart
longing to bring peace to your people
whom you loved more dearly
than you loved your own life,
for whom you were grateful to burn,

grateful to have ensured
the light in their eyes would shine
unsullied from cradle to grave!

In desperation you saw
this would never be
so long as the sword
and the greed of kings
ruled human destiny.

Then your heart opened out its final vision.

Many generations would pass.

The earth, burdened with an excess of humanity
would cry.
Kings had changed their title,
moved into different spheres of influence,
but their greed, their swords
ruled on…

…you saw no savior would ever come again…
no one to give up their life
so the lives of everyone else would continue
unchanged.

Instead of one savior
there would be billions.

You had never imagined as many people
as you saw then.

The dawn came.

The door of your chamber opened.
Soldiers entered, lifted you up,
carried you through the streets,
still your vision opened…

…the billions cried with one voice!

The wind of it,
as they stood resolutely

blew across the face of time
resurrecting the human Heart,
crushed under the boot of cruelty
for ten thousand years.

Its blaze spread across the blood-soaked earth.

They bound you to the stake.

You barely noticed.

You were watching, watching,
for in the darkness after the fall of tyrants,
dead of their own excess,

a flame burned.

You blew on it with all your might,
sang to it, fed it with the last of the superhuman strength
left in your mighty, unshakeable heart,
illuminating
the victory of people holding each other,
no matter what—
king, woman, slave, merchant, child,
creatures of earth, sea and sky dancing with them…

The flames of the pyre leapt up,
scorched your flesh
as you soared higher and higher
upon the wings of your vision…

…the Earth and humanity would be reborn
when it was enough at last
to simply laugh,
eat, kiss,
caress, create,
sing, dance….live,
die
free!

“It is holding each other
that will save us!”
you cried…rising still higher
like the smoke bearing your own flesh into the sky

stained with your passing….

…and he was right who commented
in that moment
they had burned a Saint,
though he got it all wrong about why
you earned that place in the stars
of humanity’s Mind.