Djuna Barnes


The prophet digs with iron hands
Into the shifting desert sands.
The insect back to larva goes;
Struck to seed the climbing rose.
To Moses’ empty gorge, like smoke
Rush inward all the words he spoke.
The knife of Cain lifts from the thrust;
Abel rises from the dust.
Pilate cannot find his tongue;
Bare the tree where Judas hung.
Lucifer roars up from earth;
Down falls Christ into his death.
To Adam back the rib is plied,
A creature weeps within his side.
Eden’s reach is thick and green;
The forest blows, no beast is seen.
The unchained sun, in raging thirst,
Feeds the last day to the first.

spoken = Heather C. Liston