Back to Nothing But a Face index
Previous poem


Serving in a remote chapel saying
words that increasingly
lose their sense there is, nonetheless,
something a little facile, perhaps, about
his bitterness, deriving
from a naive
faith in the value of
innocence and delight.

                            And so
his prayer, disillusioned, disappears
into a mirror, where he sees
in a moment of genius, the serpent
as the irritant
in the oyster that becomes
the pearl of great price -
the hard, metallic, perfect
pearl that costs the earth.