what is there to say about the desert fathers?

by Amy Cannon


they fled temptation to the wilderness       hid themselves in clefts and caves

       and temptation found them there       demons in the form of seducers       quarrels

provoked by pride and boredom       the desire to curse god

       return to city living           


they lived on pillars to escape the demands of many       who promptly built pulleys

       to haul their questions up       to beg for blessing

they wove baskets of reeds to buy their bread       fought devils with the psalms

       had three hair shirts       they changed occasionally


take away temptation       every itch       and no one will be saved

       however holy




Amy Katherine Cannon is a writer and writing teacher living in Los Angeles. She received her MFA from UC Irvine, where she was the recipient of the Gerard Creative Writing Endowment. She is the author of the mini-chapbook ‘to make a desert’ (Platypus Press, 2016). Her work can be found in BOAAT, BODY, Juked, and LIT, among other places. She is Managing Editor of Palaver Arts Magazine, a student publication.