Brian Wake

(Liverpool)

Throwing Stones


Lucky for you, lucky for you
I lived not in the glass house
of my fathers, not in the bricks
and mortar, in the mud and bullets
of another time, David would say.
Lucky for you I never had
my own glass house, but, licking
his lips and thumbs, would wipe
away the marks of blood
and clean his favourite stone.

Goliath, you might say, could
never have known what hit him.
Anticipated mighty forces, big things,
not breezes but storms, eagles
not sparrows, had watched the sky
for those thousand slings and arrows,
kept one eye out for a tidal wave
of horses, snorting, that would charge
and cut him down.

I am dropping, said David, a line
to one I have not seen for years;
hides out, they say, in the mountains,
lives off the land, eats birds,
takes avalanches with a pinch of salt.

With reference to the giant, I shall write,
that there is nothing left to fear
(I loved you then and love you still) .
He is killed in battle and the coast is clear,
come home. Wear something warm
for the journey for the summer nights
deceive. I am living now near Shococh,
a little way past Ephes-dammin, a little
off the beaten track, just a stone’s throw
from the river.

Submitted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, June 12, 2013

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