The Art Of The Dead

I went to see the ‘unveiling’ of a poem mural by Lemn Sissay one afternoon.  He spoke for some time and I came away feeling so inspired by what he said about how our society denies the relevance of poetry in our lives and yet reaches to it at all the times when we most need to express our deepest thoughts and feelings, (whether that be the heights of love or the depths of grief), that we reach to it when we feel our world is ending, when we need to connect to something that will revive and restore us.   I went away afterwards and wrote this…

A wise man said that poetry
Is the art of the dead
The voice of the end of days
The dark night of the soul
The sound of stone against stone
As the crypt door pushes open
To welcome light that cuts
Between the crumbling corners of tombs.

Lying here forgotten
The ancestors remember
Speak forth their dreams of sunlight
Whispered in rhythm and rhyme
Building words upon words
Like heartbeats in withered chests
Restoring the glow to pale cheeks
Souls resurrected one syllable at a time.

In the shaft of light even the dust sparkles.

(copyright Beth Rees, 2012)

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