I put my hand on it
coolly warm, touched by
sun's passage, rounded, polished,
large and male, curves
above my head, glossy as

I look out 
over our emerald
sea, past white pedestals
shapely lines of marble
cooling in the sun, and I am
warmed by our stone's transmission
of energy, its slow time-scale
where the heart moves one second
in a millenium, but alive

it processes the energy of this
day, my hand, at its own slow pace, and the clouds
are puffy, sea glitters
I see ivory sails
our fleet
their sharp-nosed prows
frothing home, biting waves, thrust
before the lightest breeze,  my
cyprus trees are darkly green,
tall, wavering, and I
wait for the sun 
to curve off, lie down
behind our world's rim.
I am happy with no him
no man to warm the coolness
of my bed - my days
are aves, paeans, silence

in between thick incense
coating the throat, the pulse of blood
coasting skin, as I give reply
to querents who come to kneel
who trek here, sore-footed, from our
world's four parts.  I watch them

as they stare in awe at
our gold banners
the whiteness of our smoke
our stone hard-cut and angular
dawn's crispness
sharpens the air - all is
marble-toiled and grateful here

my attendants bring me wine
crimson heat in silver cups and I
stand, sit, as the Gods
within me bid, and I answer
as I am told

my hand is cool upon this curved stone
which is
this known world's heart
and I thank the Gods who gave
me eyes to see the beauty
rising from our land each
dawn when I loose
my hair, press
my doors, greet the bright
day with sacrifice, my body 
clean, bare, beneath an unstained linen
of white flame, loose, delightful,
blushing in the sun

God's own I am
and his heart is in my palm

our stone throbs
with the beat of all the people's
hearts, feel the heat of them
living near or far, I feel, it feels
the tremors of its bodyland
this one stone marker of the Gods' right hands
in perfect round, one half
earth-buried, half 
this heart the sphere
that beats our lives by 
centuries of drift and change
of sun and winter 
wind on land
the scouring of our kind

but today their sails
are white against the emerald
glittering in endless lines
and my hand
is coolly warm, this stone that is
the centre of God's land

incense ascends to fragrance Heaven
my thighs moisten 
as the sun climbs
now my attendant brings me wine
soon I must go in.
Collected Works
Return to Collections all
next poem