The Crater


       100 poems/52 weeks challenge’ 2018

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Crater Bowl – Cross Section by James Turrell

I was walking on a mountain one day
when an archangel
suddenly fell upon my back
and impressed his feet
upon my shoulders,
and left my arms crooked.

His touch burst his own feet
and a cosmic power escaped from his talon-graze
into my back,
and no longer could I stand straight
without all the missing weight; his.

From thence
when I walked the mountain road
the children spoke of the devil,
my arms you see–
were like a deer’s tall antlers,
a waiting tree for a mighty falcon.

I thought that was fate
and that there are always repercussions
of archangels injuring your back,
very casually,
and yet one day
when I fell in the river or perhaps the river fell in me,
I could hear my arms
with a voice of their own
Talking like the ghosts of the river Styx;
they asked me
“Do you remember your solitary gait?
Do you remember your solitary?
Do you remember?”

But I did not
for I had become a crater
and it was these words
echoing in a non-linear chaos
that I had to remember
to plough out the ground flat again

Now these words I bring to you.



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