Book VI, VII
Across the lake
they are burning holes in the sky –
twist upward into night.
Learning to look at shadows
detached from whatever they might once
into the carelessness of beauty.
In the pure open
a great steady fire caresses each being
with its slowly diminishing touch
from layer to layer
gradually out to the white stars that speak back
The circle of closed windows
draws a sleeping child.
Here there is no glass:
they live always
with the sky brushing their elbows.
The small bare table
where the bread has not yet been laid
speaks as a lover makes love:
In Byzantium their goal:
to enter the space that painting seemed to project:
the sacred held by a wall
as if to pre-empt
the immense evidence that existed
before anyone held a brush.
In the slight warmed fire tilted
into unlimited darkness
words hug the furthest precipice into being.
The fish have been passed through a net –
sifting their jagged loneliness
into a paste of bone.
Art, like love,
permits us to fall into it
to discover our own falling.
(Irene Philologos, from A poetic journal of ten years in Boeotia)