James B. Nicola

 

 

Heraclitus

 

 

He said that of the four, Fire

Was first, the font of Everything,

Though he too looked around and saw

 

Only Earth, Water and Air: that is,

Solid, Liquid and Gas;

Fire being ephemeral, and rare.

 

He had no microscope back then.

Who taught him how to look and know

The furnace inside every atom

 

Ablaze with energy

Inextinguishable?

That even crystal, ice and diamond,

 

Were far more hot than cold

Just in their being there?

That fire was

 

The word

Yes

To almost everything?

 

Someone

Must have given him

The Word!

 

And if In the beginning was the Word,

The Word was Yes,

And Yes was Fire.                          

 

 

 

James B. Nicola © 2014

Marmorata

 

St. Peter’s, The Vatican

 

 

         marmor marmor marmor

                   clackle ackle ack

                             scuffle squish scuffle uffle squeak

And myriads of modern feet

shod in modern ways

circulate in semi-stanchioned chaos

in general ungenuflective

randomly reflective

on centuries-buffed, unsentimental stone

red ropes keep them amply apart

         clackle ack

jackets, sweaters, sweatshirts

guarded over arms

draped over shoulders

tied around waists

might be forgotten but not like souls be lost

                   marmor

assorted straps and cameras

slung unslung and slung

commemorate the singular occasion

                             click

The multitude pounds lightly

their gasps and murmurs

soft and sweet, so they do not

drown out the omnipresent echo

the sanguine susurrations of the stone.

         marmor marmor marmor

What buried bishops whisper through the marble?

                   marmor

What hard soles

tickle unread chiselings

now all but worn away

on coffin lids?

 

                             clackle

What smaller-personed sneakers

in innocent abandon

impressed irrespective of the times

slide and scrape?

         squish

What agony or token

of what untamed apostle

is being

trampled on

only to resound

                   uffle

in what artists’ conglomerates of

what sundry styles that scream

out secrets through the silence of the stone

                             marmor scuff

for a quarter hour’s stroll

of a millennium?

 

         marmor marmor marmor

                   clackle ackle ack

                             scuffle squish scuffle uffle squeak

 

 

 

James B. Nicola © 2014