Poetry: Kevin McGrath, Homer


Kevin McGrath


YOU who see through us as if
We never walked the world,
Speculating as if we were
Simply imitating your words,
How absolute you are.

Your genius enveloped us
We did not know that we
Were formed by your kind
Vision supercharging
The gravity of life on earth.

Then when you withdrew speech
Which made all this seem true,
We were obliged to fabricate
Pretend days were just the same
That light had not been veiled.

You gave us destiny and hearts
Outlined love’s nubile body,
You made us search ourselves
To think we wore our souls inside
To be changed just like a tunic.

So now we wander here and there
Lives pausing in their moments,
The sights that you offered we
Repeat when the sun is strong
For action to be obvious.

As we go out on the fields
Which you circumscribed,
Plains of death and ambition
Axles racing in their wheels
Blood upon the powdery sand:

There are ingots of experience
And shadows in the night,
Fires flash and gleam as
All this runs away in time –
To your great voice we turn:

Desperate to hear your sound
Compose desire and grief,
There is astonishment conceived
Since you left us to ourselves
Staring at your figures.

– Cambridge, November 2008