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8 May 2024



New Moon


May 23rd

We are not gold

Apr 24th

After Henry Moore’s sculpture

King and Queen (1952)

                but bronze, we take third place

                to Earth and Sky

                                                                            and every nature deity.

                A hollow sound, an empty space,

                nothing springs from an embrace

                                                                 that cannot be, as we are sidelong

                welded for eternity.

                The birds look on, confused

                by faces that collapse

                                                                        upon themselves in waves,

                royal inscrutability.

                Perceived, but not perceiving.

                Sovereign of themselves, unto themselves.

                                                                                Unto themselves.

                Her arms hold nothing

                but her own radius.

                                                             His hand touches nothing but his own

                base Throne,

                thrown upon the moors

                exposed to elements,

                                                                          themselves Elements –

                molten blood of the Earth’s

                core, and nothing more.

Behind the poem...

This poem began in Wendy Pratt’s email prompt course Fantastic Ekphrastic. I was fascinated by the treatment of temporal power in Henry Moore’s sculpture, King and Queen – how essentially barren it appears beside the self-renewing powers of nature: both figures faceless, unseeing; seated together, but not touching at all. The work’s gallery label suggests this ‘image of stable and benevolent authority resonated widely in the post-war climate of uncertainty’. I rather think Moore was making a subversive statement about the nature of the monarchy.

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