Here’s How We Saved Our Baby’s Life

We were told of a great sea
a common bowl
of belonging 
we were told how the static
becomes the mobile
or even something in between
we were told of a cosmos
where everything is touching
and nothing isolated alienated
where you were wrapped up
enfolded and interwoven
in everything else 
was this what I wanted
to excise pain       
the dead-end of my                    
my endarkenment
my extinction  
my mind to be clean                     
would I mind
it swept        
would it leave 
an abyss     
did I want to     
d  i  s  s  o l  v e  
myself to disable
as surely as a bird
might disable an insect 
by pulling off    
its wings           
so it couldn’t   
we were told
of causes more subtle
than the moon and tides
weaving a tapestry of reciprocal light
laws unbroken over all the plenum                
told of a star with enough                     
to throw down four billion tons                      
of light photosynthesised by plants
consumed by animals
and sufficiently mobile
to travel light                               
I knew this    
yearning something
near fear or delight    
this suffering in myself
was I                                                    
darkening my mind                           
did I want to be
a particle       
sand in a desert    
a bead in a tapestry                                          
a jewel  
maybe a diamond     
a star whose night
shall be remembered for  
not solid and real as me
myself a sub-plot
whose night should not be
re-collected – like a dog following       
its shadow a shrunken vestige of itself 
freezing the light of an open-ended                                      
perceptual movement now  
I had some real questions
ready as one starving would
beg for a bowl of food
stranded in wasteland
I knew it was true         
stones can be converted
the ground  
is us  
both divided and unbroken  
the one and the many
this our land we leap always we leap
leap it
bounding sure-footed from rock to rock     
they’ll think we are playing
not learning to be
than the land while keeping
the communion trekking
every dusk back
to a bare mountain.     


Wendy Clayton




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One Response to Here’s How We Saved Our Baby’s Life

    1. Thanks for the poem. Half a century ago I was dazzled by the artistry and cunning of Fabergé eggs. A decade or few later I couldn’t enjoy them, could only think of the suffering of serfs.

      Comment by Sandy on 19 January, 2023 at 8:46 am

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