Metaphysical verse

Higher readings

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Our race attains by careful steps (we say),

to knowledge of our clay;

the cleft of rock from whence it came, we know

percents of sand and loam,

of precious ores, and what the lime, and what

the iron readings say.

.

But if we care (says she) who mined the cleft,

who loved us first, gave breath,

and turned us on the wheel – we gain that life

from whence he came, who donned

our clay, to face and finish death – these things

the higher readings say.

.

Needy hearts (we say) put too much hope in

fay warnings and unknowns.

The turning wheel makes us true; we trust in

high firings and fine glazes

for strength and length of days – all these are knowns,

in minutes and degrees.

.

I see shards in a vale like dry bones (says she),

with no prophet sighing,

nor showing any sign worth possessing;

What means “whither after?”

to vessels not caring if they be made

for wrath or for blessing.

.

J.F.S. Anngeister, 2011, all rights reserved.

.

Note:  The poem has absorbed so much time in the past 2 weeks that I publish it here hoping to set it in stone, and to move on (I probably can’t).

The rhyme is irregular but functional, I think, and the six-line stanzas 10-6-10-6-10-6 (with rare but warranted exceptions) helped me embrace words which – out of thousands of wonderfully ‘possible’ and very deserving words – seemed to me most ‘fit’ to join my thoughts together in this particular case.

I worry that my meaning has become too terse from the lines being overwrought, and this makes me feel like writing more lines than I did.  However, I decided that any more than four stanzas would run the pottery metaphor into the ground.