I was going fine until, "Armored pierced". Do you mean "Armor pierced"?
I think this would read better if reformatted into whole sentences rather than chopping it up and starting each line with a capital. This causes a reader to pause unnecessarily the first time through, interupting the train of thought.
Just an idea to play with. A very colorful and strong piece. It might help also to reiterate the title phrase "contemplative arches" or something like that at or near the end to tie the idea back as a conclusion.
You put together some beautiful images and the feel of this tells me the path is not easy, and yet it's worth the trouble.
I like the idea of awakening to a threshold of arches, I'm sure in your line of work there are ample ways to give blessings! So waking in this fashion makes perfect sense.
Mattered hair Embracing wrinkled brow Face grimacing With passion Blazing eyes steal A solitary glance Slurred praise flows Through contorted lips As molten flesh Through corroded veins
Mattered hair is interesting and gives us the notion of "messy" and also "concerns" interesting choice. Here I've lost the thread of who is sending slurred praise, is it you or perhaps evil. Are you talking about the imperfection of us as humans? Just wanting to understand, maybe you would want to make that clear in the poem. And too, maybe I'm not quite understanding, but it does seem to affect theme in some real ways.
You say something of how we repeat the words and yet don't live them I think in the last four lines of this strophe above. We sleep walk through a life where God could be alive in our hearts, well done!
Parched soul pines Through paralytic spirit Caressing Stillbirth dreams As a new bride’s Virginal bosom With every cosset Reckoning heirship Galvanized with glory
The other image that caught my eye is Stillbirth dreams, which is not to say they've been placed in past tense, as in stillborn and the use of this is very different.And it occurs to me that you're fighting your oath in this and I see that theme here too. And Jesus as the bride certainly is there also. Nice package, john paul you've covered a great deal in a miminalist structure.