Friday, February 15, 2008

The Laws of the Wall

by Elliot Bougis (14.2.08)

[This is only a rough draft, and not complete. I thought of most of it as I drove to work today. Better than cursing my fellow charioteers, I'd say.]

is a wall
Up which none may crawl
But down from which all may fall
Law is a shawl
Which none may sweep aside
But which all may sleep inside
Law is it that keeps men apart
in their smirks
or keeps them together
in their smiles
Law is the mantle of clouds
and thunder
that hangs over all
A shawl of clouds
intangible and impenetrable
a pall, over all,
a call, over all
But over the walls of law
and over the laws of the shawl
there is a face
from whose brow there hangs a canopy
bestriding itself foursquare,
like yon tree
Within the space of the canopy
Dwells a face
supreme among our race
And from that face
a word
is spoken
to form the womb of grace
for our race
It is a face that shines
over all
An awl
that pierces and binds
all that unwinds or falls
A face that speaks
a call, for all
or a pall, if we reject the call
And, lo, once that face
was wrapped inside the shawl
spun by the claws of law
And swept away
Held inside the walls
built by the house of law
Buried clean and unseen
under a shawl of subhuman smirks,
behind a wall of superhuman smiles
… …

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