Blue Lias

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Blue Lias | Extrapool | 2012

Poem based on two different portraits of Mary Anning both painted after her death.

Blue Lias

she says I have ventured into the glauconite
everyone can deteriorate its a hero
in strictest sense immortal in difference
a man of blood that ceases streaming
weirs solidifies floundering in fallen limbs
the heart stilled a thousand times out of the core
the beginning sadness revolves around the axis
of naming something with ae, i or ii

the infinite skeleton disturbed
through the question of when this is
reinforced by penetrating mineral
as a rule the body disappearing
faster than the bones
diving cruel and indiscriminate the bronze rays
but more often red or brown iodine vermilion merge
in gathered light of fossilized squid

the prism becomes disrupted
however roughly a century completes
the head returns to the fossilized stone
the light to the vertebrae carves
a cry no bone is where it belongs
we see ourselves and run away
in all our prying the days split open

she finds the stone already found
the vale outcrop left behind in her
the hammerhandle pushes
the fingers loose standing face to face
in the recalling of her stature
dispersed in the sound of approaching inevitability

Translated by Julia Hope