Photograph: Werner Schmidt

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Speech of Rowing

The Speech of Rowing

Big Ben’s bell booms
Along the rolling Thames,
Pacing the rower as he sweeps past
The Embankment beneath the Eye,
The ever watchful Eye,
Turning, turning,
Causing Yeats’s falcon fly
Into his mind. Turner clouds billow high
Above the rower, towards the open ocean,
Drawing the rower’s heart onward
Along the bell-booming Thames,
The barge-clogged Thames,
Clouds that billow into the air
And are gone. Through the rower’s mind
Ben’s bell booms a rhythm
Pacing him, each stroke in synch
With the bell’s clear tongue
That speaks a language the angels spend
Their time translating
Between God and man;
Ben’s bell booming the Thames
And the rower one,
Past the Tower built of anguish stone
Toward the open ocean,
The Eye ever turning, turning.

Philip Kuepper
(February 2012)

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