The Poet as Archaeologist

At midnight in the fields of my humanity
I break the silence with a prayer and
stooping on warm ground, cast my coat.

Beckoned by history’s scent, and watching yesterdays,
I begin to collect half answers with a trowel,
for to be fixed and shored would be
to shroud some other light.

In ancient caves I measure gritty bricks and buffers,
unblocking obstruction with a pick,
contemplating potent questions pitted by the night,
without dislodging criticalities.

Complacency is crushed against
the monolithic walls I climb to harness
crumbs of wonder; the sting of straps
drawn tight upon my wrists, borne in good faith.

My ageing ropes are not taut, and not precise;
endeavour challenged by verticalities.
Oh those worthy comrades strung from ropes close by
swing a tantalising rhythm.

At dawn, with arms of love, I drape about the roof
and rafter-dance with mighty beams caught by earth,
refracting sharp from off her face, to
fly me respectfully onto shoulders of toil.

From this place I witness men and women
bending to practicalities they task themselves to shift,
and though their masters quit, they stay
to build and banter still around this busy tract.

Daylight strikes and sceptics lean upon the gate;
my voice quieted by the human tide
I descend unsupported columns, collect my coat,
but string commitment to the citadel of return.