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...
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extract from the poem Koi by John Burnside All afternoon we've wandered from the pool to alpine beds and roses ...
Sunday, 28 July 2013
Too far-fetched by half, it seemed,
to those whose births had been less public,
that you could bolt a man together.
But so he'd been;
assembled there from six steel bars,
their eyes by turns
amused and disbelieving.
The one raised from a bag of dust
had found it most incredulous,
the other two seemed not to care,
were happy to enjoy the show.
One against each wall they stand,
too far apart for intimates,
yet visitors can plainly sense
there's dialogue between the four.
The steel man
in new zinc coat
and pastel shade of patina,
rings forth his voice
(as well he might)
whenever small boys
(armed with questionnaires
and drawing books)
tap him with their pencils.
The woodblock man
happy to be free
exhumed at last
to be himself
not part of something else,
shaved to a baldness that is sensuous,
invites the hands of visitors
to assist their eyes,
range over contours
and discover forms.
And from a hundred hands a day, he learns
the image that is new to him,
the image of himself.
The man raised from the dust,
mixed with water, pummelled
to a new consistency and shape,
with every birth pang left --
a kind of hall mark --
on the surface of the clay.
He is the guru of the four:
too old, too wise, too holy
for the straying hands to touch.
The stone man is the most remote of all.
Has most in common
with the wood block, I suppose.
Except he is aloof, a world unto himself.
Perhaps his birth was just too difficult,
the trauma just too great to overcome.