Heretics Making a Scene on the Medway

On the occasion of William Blake’s arrest.

Image Credit: 
William Blake / Public Domain

He floats
with gentle Thomas Stothard and Ogleby,
above the jousting outlines
above the Medway,
above the seven maws of the Dragon,
before the files of disposables
marching Upnor’s crooked dust
up, onto scorched foreheads—
and you shall return to dust—before
the clouds white trailing beard—before
the hammer, grey hollow shell—before
the mud shaped
into bricks, baked
into numbers, stamped
into formation
in God’s image he created him.

He floats coppered points
in readiness, to draw the poison from with-
in the adders mouth,
blurring the chalked drenched banks
blurring away the curtain wall
blurring away the driftwood
crucified above
let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the sky
beyond the ragstone blocks
beyond the stakes sharped to splinter
beyond the sentinel spitting at the French spies
and the handcuffs haloed
around wrists.
They float. glowing fierce as fallen cherubs
wings smoked and
splayed dumb as doves.

William floats
with Albion, singing
with every child a Jesus
clothed with the sun.
God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.

Bibliophile. Poet. Aspirational Alto Sax player and Irish speaker. Editorial advisor for Confluence Medway.

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