It grew where few eyes witnessed it,
a bloodstained hand upon the land,
a rosebud in the wilderness.
Alone and conscious of itself, it stood
with little to recommend it
save its beauty.
Less still to worship it.
And nothing to which it could turn and say:
There stands a plant like me!
Only a lonely man
saw in the bloodstained hand
his spirit twin, his next of kin.
He was its saviour.
It was his.
Day after day
he travelled in the lonely places
creating in his mind an emptiness,
a desert land where the frail bud,
so finely knit by cruel pins,
might thrive and grow.
His mind reflected back the image of the rose.
And when the wilderness stood dry
and dust and sand and empty sky
condemned the lovely thing to die
he threw himself upon the thorns
and fed the roots with blood.
Common as cow dung the ways of the stranger,
yet rare to the plants as nitrates
in a desert running to dust.
Wise men travelled for to view
the all-exciting bloom,
yet overlooked with careless eyes
the green head crowned with thorns.
Across the desert sands the winds came.
Tohu wa-bohu, * tugging it.
A Bethlehem of sorts. Pockmarked, its Mary,
offering the child her breast,
her tough and gutta-percha flesh, became
what every mother hopes.
Dark brown skipping rope,
over and under the delicate bairn,
coiled like a python round its neck,
umbilical cord of a wounded mother
tethers the buoyant, exuberant flame
fluttering there like a kite on a string.
* Tohu wa-bohu: Hebrew for without form and void
Some of my older friends may have have had a slight feeling of déjà vu reading this. If so, it will be because this is a radical rewrite of a poem I posted two or three years ago and then deleted, considering it not up to par.
The moon petals the sea. Rose petals the sea. Stone sea. Stone petals. Rose petals of stone. Stone rising before me. Sea moves. How moves...
Hello everyone who follows David King (My Father). On behalf of the family this post is to let you know that Dad sadly passed away, peacefu...
It all depends, you see, how you go about it. And that I cannot tell you, for that will be dictated by you and by you knowing your friends...
extract from the poem Koi by John Burnside All afternoon we've wandered from the pool to alpine beds and roses ...
What makes us suppose that only the living grieve? Now all but lost in this new and familiar world of tall, leaning-together buildings...