Words are banned, the book outlawed.
No right of return, no sight of his homeland –
Using their laws they pass silence upon him.
Outstaring the spider, memory centres on its own web
Or in his father, who worked the dark unpromised earth.
As a boy he trained for a certain purpose, which
Is denied him, becoming a refugee in his own country,
A volcano waiting to erupt, a sky hovering above them.
You know him by nerves repaired and affected nonchalance,
By streets where he walks; the wet stone; the honed night’s edge;
Each arm swung loose, like an axe, the heavy body
Carried, on a weightless spirit of prayer: endless steps,
A path around the world. They know him by design;
Enemies shattered touchingly. By helmeted skulls
Cracked like eggs. Their walls and high towers,
Useless before him. His penetrative silhouette imploding,
Forms the cave to his tunnel, bursting and the explosion
Standing before them – His Shape.
There is no escape. They know him. A cauldron:
A slab mill, spilling its banks, the blistered steel
Of his mind, festers. An invisible force, overwhelming
Invading armies who have only technology and firepower,
Their tanks, squashed, like children’s eyes beneath his gaze.
As their world crumbles, they relent, allowing him
His day’s toil but his harvest will always be taken
And his presence ignored, in the manner of their race.