What will survive (or: Writ in water)

Fun & Games in today’s Guardian’s Poetry Workshop HERE

… and here’s my entrance:

What will survive

‘Life, like a dome of many-colour’d glass,
Stains the white radiance of Eternity,’

(Percy Bysshe Shelley – Adonais: An Elegy On The Death Of John Keats)

Here’s the prayer – there the grave;
there the shore where shells
in fragments lie in wait.

A shoe may crunch a million
of these washed up tales,
until an eye – a hand – finds one

and picks it up and holds it,
like the light of some old star
that died a thousand lives ago.

What memories one fragment holds?
What stories – what remembered
past, unlocked and reinterpreted,

like bits of stone or crumbs
of parchment, dug up from
some site – surrendered to a shelf

of one of the lost back rooms
of a sleepy-eyed museum,
where it murmurs to itself

or must lie quiet, like
a broken shell or fragment
of a stained glass window,

that may or may not dream
of the archeologist’s story
giving breath or other forms

of timely resurrection – a ghost
of some dead poet murmuring:
‘What will survive of us is love.’

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One Response to “What will survive (or: Writ in water)”

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