Monday, August 20, 2012

The Diamond and the Flame

Crushing a diamond
Between thumb and forefinger
Remains a rare talent,
Not to be used
As for the residue,
Precious dust that it is,
Almost certainly
Best stirred widdershins
Into molten tallow;
Not, mind you,
Synthetic wax
White enough for feint hearts
At a prospect of light
Emanating from fat
Rendered through slaughter.
Adamant glistered tallow-dip,
Hand fashioned
Into slender candles,
By their own flame
When set in sconces,
High overhead,
To mark an occasion.
As for thumb and forefinger,
They can be soothed,
By nipping out
A burning wick.
The diamond and the flame,
Both pinched
In one movement,
In one moment,
In one morsel
Of history
With which five,
Five hundred,
Five thousand might be fed.

Dave Alton
(Award winning poem at the Warkworth Show, August 2012)