Tuesday, July 28, 2009

St Stephens House by touch.

At St Stephen's house
we felt the carvings on the walls.
Skulls grinned as we poked our fingers in their eyes.

The model (with its cold brass geometries of scale)
showed us how small and insignificant we were - as if we didn't know.

But then we stumbled
on a pattern in the rock
upon a block
of limestone in the wall.
We felt the sharp and shelly sand
with semi- rounded pebbles
from the ancient storm and flood
that rolled them into place.
We felt the smoother grains above

that told of later long
and windless weeks and water
smooth as glass.

Through several hundred million years
this memory in rock remained to
teach us how the little things
endure beyond our wildest dreams.

(c) A McN

No-one had interpreted rock strata to him before. It was a Eureka moment when he realised his fingers were touching a weather event from millions of years ago - a tactile photograph of time.

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