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States of Poetry 2016 - ACT | 'Song of gratitude' by Sarah Rice

States of Poetry ACT - Series One

States of Poetry 2016 - ACT | 'Song of gratitude' by Sarah Rice

States of Poetry ACT - Series One

For the soft-handled horse-mane hair
of the half moon brush
The gleam of pewter, copper, glass.

For the carpet palimpsest of patterned lives
that lie layered in the deep pile – embedded
wine, coffee, blood, bread, skin, and ash.

For the possibility of preserving presence
and particularity in a photograph.

For the quiet reliability of maps that level
mountains, baptise stream and river
and christen streets. That make a flat
geometry of tower, plaza, town.
And tell you where you are
and where you are not
and where you are going
and how to get there.
That folds the city into squares.

For the iron will of the anvil
and other like instruments
that stay as they are and should be.

For tubes of paint and the infinite spectrum
that gives us sun yellow, yolk yellow
soft and safety yellow, sweet or sour and so on.

For luck on three legs, level tripod,
held steady so it doesn't run out,
with a knowledge the maker of stools
has over the maker of chairs.

For words, spoken, thought, written, read,
unsaid, drawn, erased.
For the silent letter, mute but needed
like the animating principle
that leaves the body lighter at death,
and is the weight of our final breath
The weight of silence lifted.


 Sarah Rice

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