Stones take to each other naturally,
Like a family of sleeping creatures,
The large ones accommodate little ones,
To create a colony of hardness;
They rest in centuries of stark stillness;
They are elephant-heavy to lush grass.
Their colours employ the afternoon sun;
They are as warm as loaves from an oven.
Each one embodies its personal death;
They are cobbled memories of the sea;
They are the solid language of labour:
Each one weathered to a perfect image.
They rest, innocent of their history,
Like a grey display of featureless skulls.
They have tasted our sweat and absorbed our blood.
They rise and fall, symbols of man’s conscience.
Their persistence has sculptured their silence;
They hint that their souls haunt other planets.
They are magnets for our primitive thoughts;
They are the armour of truths beyond us.
They shape our built fears of an afterlife,
They could tempt us into acts of worship.
RAINBOWS AT NIGHT
The bird voices are dust;
And dry summer’s death breath
Is murdering flowers‒
A graveyard of colours.
The lizards are dark twigs
That are filmed by the eyes;
And the scanning vultures
Are guarding their heaven.
I seek out the shadows
As I pray for the wind
Or the cloud of the fog.
I long for the moon’s ice.
I leave thoughts in deserts,
Words die in their silence,
For tomorrow’s poems
Will be rainbows at night.
THE GREEN BIRD
(for Vince and Annie Clemente)
You were born glowing
And when the green bird
Landed on you
It left all its songs.
But you preferred silence,
The raindrop of a thought
Shining on a leaf,
A shadow statued in prayer.
The crowds waited like a river,
The poetry of your soul
Would silver the desert,
The aeons of poverty.
You sent them a stone,
They built you a tomb.
You pointed to the moon,
They broke all their mirrors.
Words shone like stars in your mind;
They were not to be sung.
Silence surrounded you
Like the perfume of flowers.
You breathed in the universe,
As you shed each moment
As stiff as a snake
That’s mesmerised by light.
On the edge of morning,
They found you perfected.
You’d made it to god.
They cut down a tree.
You died in the darkness
But glowing inside:
The bright songs of the green bird
Had flown from your mouth.
Peter Thabit Jones, poet and dramatist, is the author of thirteen books,
including the Dylan Thomas Walking Tour of Greenwich Village, New York with Aeronwy Thomas, daughter of Dylan Thomas. He regularly visits America as a writer and was inducted into the Phi Sigma Iota Society at Salem State University, Massachusetts in 2014.