Movement 28 - Where presence infinitely sits
Time is a growing past: there is no now. Beauty is resolved
and we verify our attachment to the clay time made,
the clay man kneaded, coloured, picked and pointed,
brushed and scuffed across this monument to fable,
rebinding dialogues and grammars in our own skins,
re-telling, for centuries of stray watchers, disciplinarians
the truths reached and sliced open clean as a breakfast
apple, unafraid to see the core, the marinade.
Strip away your name.
Strip away your face.
Strip away your voice,
each piece of clothing,
those elegant shoes.
Strip every detail from your skin,
each muscle to the bone,
each bone to marrow.
Nothing left to quantify.
Are you, too, absent, or is absence
where your presence infinitely sits
Only the remnants of crucifix—trunk, crossbar, nails and
twisted thorn-branch in the distance.
Embodied on high where the eye sites it – worshipful and
beautiful – the fulcrum, the measure, the point – the
who-is-not who is. —Swear.
As he leaned his body back – so near to the void beneath
the figure he was painting stirred before him. The porcelain
delicacy of skin, the intense ochre lurking underneath
her bare waist and naked loins, mirroring his lustre of
He knew the richness, knew the risk, the courage and the
pain – but lifted the flatness
from each pigment with his brushes. She was nobility,
she was charm, strength,
and meditation. As he acted to his thought, she birthed
for her maker.
Inevitable entanglements of her belief and his gave art
and reason much to do.
His brushes spread the iridescent flesh; and its absorption
warmed her blood
and freshened up the morning. The whites that overlay
her arms and thighs, burnished skin
as on polished marbled virgins, and filled the open sky
of lapis lazuli
with the wonder of humanity, and with jealousy and fear.
Below the gaping mouths of hell are new
caves to wander in
the night, awaiting
shipments of pigmented souls
the ghastly smiles of Charon’s phantom
men, rejects of holiness, purchased
at markets in Sodom or Gomorrah;
—our visions do not hesitate to spin
the wheels of luck and walk away.
We are alone and all our smiles will not
undo the shackle we so readily pass on;
—our sanctity is rich in poisoned pollinates
and cross-legged stools; one riddle
answers all but leaves
the blind dancing on scaffolds.