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Clay People

                 for Leslie Lemke


Everything that passes is recorded

somewhere in the clay as it dries

fingertips over the Braille

seek glimmers in the emptiness

where memories are birthed and lost


Some, born huge and silent

hewn in stone, stare soundlessly

from distant islands, faces to the sky

watch forgotten voyagers

riding astral waves

eternity unglimpsed

others spend their fading sparks

sitting in cramped corners

totting up rows of endless numbers

that repeat themselves like cogwheels

of uncomprehending clocks


Yet here and there

small apertures of  genius appear

letting the light show through

a few, born blind, unable to walk

or hold a fork and spoon


Sit suddenly at a piano in the night

play flawlessly a string of songs,

repeat the contents of ten thousand books

or calculate with absolute exactitude

the number of angels who could populate

the sharpest points of pins


Somewhere in each one of us

a genius sits silently

waiting like a sleeping beauty

for a finger dipped in love and patience

to wake it, help it find its wings


Fly out gloriously into the world

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© Johnmichael Simon



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