of the Master Builder
fortress towers before me and its columns
razor the air as sharply as the diamonds
proffered by sages. Yet I cannot press
through this narrow arch unless I lose
my awkward baggage. From back here my eye
proves fickle, flicks from marble balcony
to parapet; I struggle to assess
exactly how the architect built this.
The genius, I fancy, to whose hand
we owe this scheme, convinced the desert sand
itself to rise, to form the cornerstones
which piled themselves into these spires and domes,
as Amphion once coaxed the walls of Thebes
to frame themselves to his flute’s melodies.
If I stand long and close enough, and stare,
might I then imitate him, with less flair?
But I am too encumbered to draw level
by all these bricks I picked up in my travels
and dare not drop, although I know the walls
I build with them are miserable and small.
2006 by Anna Evans