(from Seven Words)
The voices of self are ended. A sepia
penumbra clears round a moon of blood.
The ancient temple cloth, purple thread
twisted with blue
and scarlet, thick linen protecting other people
all these years you’ve lived
from what is dangerous and sacred,
tears in two. Earth trembles and will not stop.
Feldspar, formed on the abyssal plain
of the ocean floor
splits presto and goes on splitting. Rocks crack
and distant mountains of East Nazareth
echo in aftershock
over limestone braille
in the Dead Sea Rift or Fault
over aquifers, flint and fissured chalk
and barbed wire
on the Mount of Olives.
Violence. Take your finger off the edge
and it snaps back like a rubber band
shaking our ground from top to bottom.
Buckling. Compression. A spear jabs through
one interspace between the ribs
and water gushes out with blood from the fluid sac.
This is the end of everything you’ve been.
God is what God does. You are the earth.
The outer world, body’s integument, the layers
of all that’s happened in a life,
the bastions of defence and muddled litter
of experience, are bleeding out like dye
into a shroud. We are rhythmic animals
and our prayer
is breath. We don’t need veil:
the mystery we call soul
is no password-protected secret
but an invitation.
You’ll get there. You’re neither victim
nor a hero. You’ve come home
possibilities of you. The night glides by.
Clouds move silver fast and free across the sky.