The Friday Poem on 15/07/22
We chose ‘Boulder Song’ by Wendy Pratt to be our Friday Poem this week because we are intrigued by this strange and primordial duet between boulder and glacier. We like the richness of the language, the way Pratt lends character to supposedly inanimate objects, and the poem’s reach — it manages to feel both ancient and contemporary. It’s not simply a rallying cry against human “progress” but seems to tap into something more fundamental. Einstein said, “Everything in life is vibration”. Listen.
The boulder sings like a tuning fork sings;
vibrating with the glacier’s movement. Listen.
Opposite a bus shelter, beside a bypass,
the boulder sings a Shap granite score
back to the pressure of its creation.
It is a sound forced through
the drilled holes of a mammoth tusk, through
the hollowed contours of ice.
The glacier’s world is a long, slow thunder
The boulder is singing back. Listen.
It is a call played through a flute made
from the thigh bone of a cave bear.
The boulder rolls through the dream-time
to stop in a great lake formed from the glacier’s body;
a miracle of solid-gas-liquid states.
It is a god of fertility now,
a god of fish and reeds and water.
The lake shrinks away from it;
It rises as a steeple in a drowned village.
The water sings its own song
in ripples and waves,
ripples and waves.
Listen: a bypass is approaching, a bridge,
a train-track, a town; out of the shallows,
out of the farmland out of the heavy machinery
of creation. Listen.