Voynich’s manuscript

It is a fist of light in the night
A Franciscan monk
Crumpled the page of a parchment
On which a herbarium was blooming

A merchant of old books recovered it
1912 the war is at the doors
Wilfrid Voynich lost a life
Deciphering yellowed pages

In the library of Yale
The students flow like fresh water
Is it an alchemists’ herbarium?
The night pierces the heavy wooden windows

It is a fist of light in the night
I have discovered the secret of Voynich
A policeman waved me off
I who have spent the last few years begging

The moon has a carnivorous smile
The ghosts of the Jesuit cryptographers
Invade the dark asphalt
And my dog rests on my wrinkled thigh

Carbon 14 dating
The memoirs of a Prague alchemist,
The Institute of Chicago, the study of pigments
And 170,000 glyphs separated by thin gaps

Were not as effective as I was
Did Queen Christine of Sweden save the manuscript?
US Navy cryptographers see multiple authors,
Did the Devil get his hands on the parchment?

It is a fist of light in the night
I have discovered the secret of Voynich
My secret flies away and attaches itself to the wings of birds
Who will believe a beggar who smells of wine?

It was January, a Yale student
Dropped a copy of the parchment near my boxes
I spent five years deciphering the herbarium
I studied every image, every gilt

The soldier with the crossbow on a page smiled at me,
The pansies, violets and ferns
The constellations of the Zodiac
Scintillated on the illuminated pages

Silence has invaded the dirty city now,
The rain supports the horizon with its liquid arms
I looked for Voynich’s smile in the folds of the twilight
The sun had set, the white night opened the lashes

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