[My first blog post, back in 2009, was a far different version of the poem below. I removed it from the site when I started blogging again in 2013, and had no plans to revisit it. But for some reason, more than six years after I first wrote it, I have started writing it again—and have made it much shorter if not much else. So, gentle poem, welcome back to the internet. (And great Achilles will be sent once more to Troy!)]
The deepest past’s mere meters down, a lot of dust no doubt to those who made it, but even ground this trodden—boots, bare soles— is air to a bomb. A wall that rose, and was buried in time,
rises again, its surface glass- like rock, blue as movie-star-eyes. The weathered ones whose hands glossed the standing stone, like skies over Ur long watched for sterile signs of things to pass, have passed.
Colours, populous in nature, do not penetrate the iris, but glass can well invade her eyes, two dirt-red pebbles smoothed by salt water. Something happens with life, some stray contour
around the side of natural beauty shakes its skin and crumbles into want. A thimbleful of chancing chemicals falls in a careful mess, carelessness diluting the dead-still,
slow-dying purity of rock. The girl picks lapis lazuli from her eyes. Fired up and dropped, the shrapnel of history shattered her sight. Stop. Do not worry. Even walls cannot last.
What can the nationalist reply When reptile naturalists imply That even mighty Urland’s glory, Like a mite, is transitory? The nationalist may one day turn Quasi-geologist and spurn Volcanically each rival plate That preaches its own pompous fate. “Is it not just that Urmagnia, Upper crust of old Pangaea, Ought to rule the lithosphere?— It’s blessed by God! And Wegener!” But patriot, however exotic The limit of your own tectonic— Though it usurp the uniplace— Everything is just a phase!
words echo with the ghosts of almost wholly-lost worlds but for them nothing remains at all—nothing words hold though only airily the fragile bones of yesterday loose as breath but holding yet and tightening