Monday, 10 December 2012

Jonah's Hands

This was written not long after Jonah's death, and originally published in London Magazine.  It is also in my pamphlet, Tiny Disturbances (Acumen).  Of my own poems, it is a favourite.


JONAH’S HANDS

Jonah Jones, sculptor, 1919 - 2004

Jonah’s hands make rock soft.
He stops on the Roman Steps,
Runs big-bulbed digits over Cambrian stone
As though over lover’s flesh
And presses with his palm,
Gently promising union.

And in the workshop
Is enacted the consummation,
In which mineral and animal couple
To make art; the miracle made
From mind through touch to object.

And on the traeth the whippet
Tears through the air, slate thin
On the wide hard sand,
The sculptor’s pet the art
Beyond the sculptor’s hand.

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