18 May 2006


water, fish, bread, wine,
and life
the stones I shout through
are spittle-smoothed--
waves cannot drown me out now,
chanting out again--
water, fish, bread, wine,
and life

water for washing, to run through
my fingers, muddying it with
dyes and soapscum, residue of
velvety suds, frothful, cascading
water of life with all the
unicellular creatures whose names
I have forgotten, water of life,
struck from desert rocks now worn
to sand

the fish, scaly swimmers, their neat
gills dragging in oxygen, shimmer,
flashbright under water, there,
fluidly moving upstream to
leap and fall
to other sides, to placid pools,
spawn in the dark wet,
clouds humming with life,
saltpearls to smash upon toast

soft belly of bread, dusted-over
with flour-talc powdery smoothness--
punch it down
and again
punch it down
tear through the sticky center,
feel the heft weighing against
your wrists
nestled in a blue bowl,
set it to rise, and rise again
(if the yeast has done the work:
tempermental yellow germ)
cover it with clingfilm plastic,
cosset it with tea towel
brown it, bake it,
serve it with cool tiles of
butter, knife-softened,
spread like soft cement, knife-trowelled
back and forth

liquid-red, rosy-hot, throat-warming--
sloshed in the gold bowl held
by slender stem
bloodred, trickling down, a
complement to bread-white flesh,
courses through the veins,

water of life,
water into the wine of
all life
ruby hotness, jewel drops to warm
the hearts of all men,
washing them clean
with the heat of it,
antiseptic washing away
the residue of ashes-in-the-mouth:
a sad condition

all life: the water, fish, bread and
how well they complement each other
each part a part of a whole
never apart, the
swirling, tri-partite whole
revolving, an inpenetrable mass
for all our eternities

No comments: