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||Edwin Drood's Column
||4 March 2014
|Hugh Featherstone peers into the stone.|
|The water stone, IV
The girl who sold it me was sure
five hundred million years or more
have passed since, by design or chance
tremendous forces formed this stone
so round, so hard, its very shape
the only space it could escape to
hold it, perfect, in your hand
and marvel how it harbours life
a little water, just enough
to fill a thimble and a silver
bubble of some dancing gas
or prehistoric air are locked
in land, within the crystal rock
Now, were I to, like Moses, knock
upon it with a staff and split
its infinitely secret core
would just a thimbleful, or more
come gushing forth, a fountain maybe
pour its pure, fresh water, link
me to Arcadian currents, could it
mark the brink of worlds where ink
and blood and wine are freely spilt
libations to the wavering line
ghost-nib and jug and phantom hilt
long traced in thoughts ere men were there
to think them or to lift the pen?
This Water here and this bright Air
already then their prison filled
together, separate, in the Stone
for Time was old, as now. Yet then
far older was the Word again
although the Earth was young, and men
had written nothing, being unborn
our Fire was firm in Heaven's keep
and in the warm heart of the hill
no law divided dream from sleep
nor Knight from Queen, nor King from pawn
the Spirit moved upon the deep
impatient for sweet Reason's dawn
... and is impatient still
From Bird under water, a selection of poems by Hugh Featherstone
© Hugh Featherstone
Another poem from this selection will appear next time the Drood's away.
The Bird under water homepage includes a foreword by Hugh Featherstone
and a linked list of the poems as they appear.
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