"Ponderynge together yestardayes promise, and two-dayes doyng"
(Hall's Chronicle - 1548)


"Goronigl gwyr yr Ynys" (Lewis Glyn Cothi - 1450)

Thursday, 4 November 2010

BABEL




Tower

"nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do"
Genesis II.6
They built it to climb to God
but he descended their stair,
Twisted tongues of each of them
gaping empty air

Speechless
averting
faces from Heaven
they laboured apart

-restrained
from common bonds
imagined diversely,
strove vainly.

So each of us
stretching across the sundered plain
to grasp hands in friendship
finds again
a piece of broken foundation stone -
not from a tower of burnt clay and slime
but a bower in Eden at an end of time.


And Babylon -
"I will make of it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction" 
 Isiah XIV.23

How many miles ...?

(the light begins to fade

words fail in the flicker
of a candle flame and trickle

away, gaining no hold,
dissolve and are made rough again:
corrugations of wax
in the runnels of history)

... by candlelight
but not back again
to any stone-built tower,
to any kindled flame.
Light ebbs to flow 
around our darkness.



Bālāl
Gate of God
Or the God of the Gate?


What do we know?


Only words, which confuse us.
Language, which leaves us
Bereft of its significance.


Hanging Garden

“the approach to the garden sloped like a hillside and the several parts of the structure rose from one another tier on tier”
Diodorus Siculus 

Were trees dependent
On terraces,
Was earth banked
(treasured loam in lime-clad stone),
Did the wind sing of weeping
In dangling leaves
Euphrates via Archimedes
To wet those roots
And dampen those notes
Sounding lost love?

Or did these words make
A shape in air?

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