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Brass Rubbing

The shape of time is
cold and smooth
a bell peels to follow
the curl of the ear
in cadences of cartilage
only the infant is old
Joseph’s hand raised, strong
in his sin of compassion
Mary naked on the straw  
where wise men eye
the babe  
their presence
somehow redundant

18 Mar 08

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Pretty exceptional. Bravo
 — themolly

A very good poem, thanks for sharing.
 — PaulS

Bells might peel if they are cheap but they generally peal to make their sound.

I would like to see this with punctuation, showing the reader where you paused to breathe.
 — Isabelle5

Thanks for kind comments.  Isabelle the thought was of the sound physically detaching from the bell to the curve of the ear so not a mistake, I think this is consistent with other ideas here such as shape of time or in fact the rubbing on paper from when I was at the cathedral in London and the stone slab from which it was taken.  
The line breaks are the only punctuation I wanted here, mainly as it mirrors the shape of the rubbing which is crowded with  redolent images. Unfortunately I do  not have the facility to link image with poem, or you would see the bell and how it relates to the ear visually but also  how the bell is entirely out of places in the archaic stable.
 — unknown

Well, I like your explanation, thank you.  That makes sense.  
 — Isabelle5

 — tiedtoes

: )
 — fractalcore

"sin of compassion"?..."cadences of cartilage" is a bit of a stretch as well...this has promise though.
 — DeformedLion

DeformedLion, at that time the unwed moms would have been stoned to death even if victims of rape by their families, so Josephs stance defies the morality of his time and presages aspects of the Christian  idea of compassion.  I guess the unformed bones of the infant reasonate with the bell shape in a scene crowded with adults and beasts.  The cattle got left out in this version, in the attempt to catch the profound integrity of the stone masons image of faith...an attempt
which i agree is flawed; perhaps inevitably as I am a nonchristian.
 — unknown

nice words blowing in the winds
 — poetbill

cold isnt a shape

cadences of cartilage does slow you down a lot, seeing as how all the words leading up to them (except one) were one syllable words.....unless you really want the reader to stumble or slow on those two words , maybe you should find other ones.
 — joshcoops

Thanks poetbill @ joshcoops.  cold is a response to a shape thugh, thinking about it I suppose the bell tolling time reflect on the fact that the image I am descriing is a momento from a long way back 4both in terms of the nativity and when I was in Brit and made the rubbing- the style of iconography seems to be unemotional which in terms of the intent of the poem speaks to the archtypal impact of the actual story of the birth.  Will have to think about cartilage, cant think of anything that fits instead...any suggestion?
 — unknown

good poem, don't like 'cadences of cartilage' and 'sin of compassion': sound too cheesy
 — unknown

I have been trying to improve on 'cadences of cartilage' for the infants archtypal form and 'sin of compassion' for Josephs defiance of the morals of his time// i could expand but as the small squarish shape is intended to mirror the shape of the icon I want to express the idea as efficiently as possible - would be grateful for suggestions?
 — unknown

very nice poem
 — unknown