wordsout by godfrey rust
Incarnate  < 19 of 26 >

The gallery

In the first room
is a painting 
of a miracle
(miracles were commonplace then):
a figure on a grassy slope
with hands outstretched
towards a multitude, eyes
fixed forever in the unreal colours
of the lacquered pages
of a child's first bible.

In the next room
is a photograph
of a face,
a black and white,
moral Victorian face
imprinted on the conscience
like a negative, developed
in the darkroom of
adolescent guilt.

In the third room
are the remains
of a diagram,
a design for God's 
central nervous system
which ran out of dimensions.

In the last,
which is an upper room,
is no canvas wide enough
on which to stretch out
the skewered arms of love,

no photographic fixer
with the power to hold
the crimson stains of mercy,

no technology to reproduce
a blueprint of the workings
of the heart of grace,

no picture
small enough to be contained
within the universe's

This poem was originally published in The Place Where Socks Go in 1985 under the title of Icons but dropped when those poems were carried forward into Breaking the Chains in 1992. It has been revised and seemed to me to belong in the Incarnate collectionIt might be seen as a magnification of the last two stanzas of A brief history of God.

Godfrey Rust 1982, godfrey@wordsout.co.uk. See here for permissions.