The Uncut Stone

The Uncut Stone

‘a stone was cut out, not by human hands’ (Daniel 2:34)
‘the cornerstone cut out without hands’ (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho)

Sunsets blazing out of my head,
Burnt-out midnights moving on,
Nothing remains of the life I led,
Clean as the wind-swept sky, I’m gone.
Nobody loses, nobody gains
A drop of water in a thousand springs.
Not a trace of my life, not a trace remains.
I am the voice of the ancient things.
I am the audience nobody sings.

I come from the valley of the uncut stone,
A spark from the furnace in my father’s eye.
I belong with the muscles of the dancing bone
In the womb of my mother in her ecstasy.
Nobody noticed, nobody saw
What being (a babe in the wilderness) brings:
The more I advance, the more I withdraw.
I am the voice of the ancient things.
I am the audience nobody sings.

In my years of cutting the linguists’ key
To the door of the dungeon of the dispossessed,
I descended to the Pontiff of the Holy See
Kneeling in the belly of the human beast.
What am I saying? Give me some air!
Death is the death of a thousand stings.
The bloodier mortality, the bloodier the care.
I am the voice of the ancient things.
I am the audience nobody sings.

In the time of harvest our dust allows,
I walk in the court of the uncut stone
Formed in the market, shadowed by trees,
Circled by water, the sun and the moon.
Nobody prosecutes, chairs, or defends
The court of the stone of the uncut wings
Of the whole of the harvest nobody ends,
I am the voice of the ancient things.
I am the audience nobody sings.

from Damnatio Memoriae: Erased from Memory (Enitharmon, 2004), copyright ? Sebastian Barker 2004, used by permission of the author and publisher

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