Thursday, 26 December 2013


The tumble rag-tag
Jumble of words
In my mind led me to find ´
An image, a voice
Packed in dust and dry time:
Alexander cried to his brother
As they faced Darius
(Or some such potentate
Surfeit with power and
treasures of pleasure)
Some doe-eyed man
Rich in armies,
Silk-skinned as any girl.
Alexander cried
"Hold the center!"
And I heard.

So I may stand
White and thin-fingered,
Eyes dark-smudged with khol,
I may smile quite sweetly
And nod at you all,
But I am no soft thing
To yield sighs or tremble.

Whatever I may resemble,
Do not be deceived:
Should my loves call,
I will hold the centre;
What ever breaks,
And whatever it takes.

I am bone and stone;
Should the very world 
Crumble along with my heart,
I will not hide nor die nor faint
If I step on some blood.

Though armies break
My lines do not fold.
I hold the centre.
Do you hear me, Alexander?

I remembered:
cried "Hold"
So I hold.

Manuela Cardiga

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