Tuesday, 24 June 2008

The word Grace

The word Grace

In the loveless company of stars,
reading of the Human Genome,
twinkling map of organic existence -

of kinship with the dark leaf
crying silver in my brother palm,
owl hooting his nocturnal love -

stuttering mouse, nervous at nut supper,
rheumatic tree cracking bulging knuckles,
skewering the fat yellow buttermoon -

honeysuckle sugar polluting
the blue ghost of evening;
moths bumping plumply into light -

thinking of the Word
calling all life
from chemicals and love -

everything alive,
from the same trinity of letters,
this simple holy script,

I hunted my language archive -
like a smoker, restless at midnight,
turning out sofas, dusty drawers,

old unworn clothes, dead and stiff;
desperate for just the right thing -
rifling the Contemporary Section,

Popular Idiom, Vernacular;
neat boxes of Metaphor -
shimmering, spilling shelves of Simile -

onward to the Science Department’s
rusty hinges, ignoring the need for ID,
warning signs for trespassers, ignoramuses,

to Chemistry’s mysterious incandscent symbols,
Biology’s volatile Latin -
through History’s shifting, creaking doors -

at last, wandering through Elegy,
the shining halls of Poetry -
built of silver bones and fundamental music -

sparkling dictionaries of Wonder,
luminescent Myth and Legend -
whispering polished figures like gold statues,

until a gas-lit room, mellow, wood-panelled,
smelling of bees and apples -
there a clutch of Old Fashioned Words

like threatened birds’ eggs
in a mahogany, Victorian windowed box;
and there it was, suddenly -

so shining still, no wonder it is holy;
under time-embroidered cobwebs,
silver yet, though dimmed with age -


I cupped the word in both palms,
holding its calm golden light
like a dying September leaf -

dusted it down, tenderly,
polishing the word with my lips,
slotting it home in my heart

like a compatible disk –
shivering, whirring upload
as it was read - exactly, perfectly;

spreading through me like centuries
of matured autumn light, dimly
speckled with sparkling dust-stars,

low humming sounds of bee spirituals -
weary honey workers returning home,
worn, through a rusty gold evening.

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