Pillar of Salt / The Damned

Nina Wilson

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Pillar of Salt / The Damned 2017-09-17T19:28:44+00:00

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Pillar of Salt

Why should we mourn for yesterday?[1]
I marvel not in times gone by that you, gods, were deified.[2]
Remnants of things that have passed away—
fragments of stone reared by creatures of clay.[3]
Deep and sacred longings[4]
Far beyond the region where sun and stars belong[5]
In the deep dark night which drowns the light of eyes.[6]

Nature, the cradle of all and grave of all,[7]
Some awful powers have been placed
Within the waste of silence.[8]
Midnight holds its breath[9]
And the wind was fast asleep.[10]
We sometimes hear that flesh and bone
By magic art were turned to stone.[11]
Dreams are the devil’s own angels on earth[12]

Powers, let me not useless die[13]
I trust in many things: in blood, in fire.[14]
Let darkness lead me on wherever I roam.[15]
Your very own empty hands shall miss
The things they’ve learned.[16]
When sin’s dark doctrine fell on weary men[17]
You said, “Burn, saint, burn.”[18]

As tricky as wisdom[19]
The truth crushed to earth shall rise again.[20]
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.[21]
The past gathers itself quickly like debris,
And time eddies around it.[22]

[1] Tomas Guddmundsson
[2] Bernard Barton
[3] Lord Byron
[4] Stefan Fra Hvitadal
[5] Stefan Fra Hvitadal
[6] Adalsteinn Kristmundsson
[7] Johnnes Kotlum
[8] Jakob Thorarensen
[9] Jon Magnusson
[10] Gudmundur Bondvarsson
[11] Johannes Jorgensen
[12] Sophus Claussen
[13] Gustaf Munch Petersen
[14] Inger Hagerup
[15] Inger Hagerup
[16] Edle Nielsen
[17] Nils Collett Vogt
[18] Gunnar Ekelop
[19] Craig Morgan Teicher
[20] WM Cullen Bryant
[21] WM Cullen Bryant
[22] Craig Morgan Teicher

The Damned

I have learned one thing:
Not to look down so much upon the damned.[1]
At all times, I see them. Their bodies are divided among the dust,[2]
Their bodies belong to silence.[3]
Never shall I forget those moments
Which murdered my God and my soul.[4]
But I am still here and I know why, and why the air feels heavy.[5]

From the ashes, hear our plea,[6]
We are born with a knife in our hearts.[7]
We are blue marble forms lying, not breathing, not dying.[8]
We envied plants and stones. We envied dogs.[9]
No one molds us again out of earth and clay,
No one conjures our dust.[10]
A nothing we were, are, shall remain.[11]

Perhaps we will walk together, my brother, on the road of human dignity.[12]
Until then, you will bite the sidewalks like bread.[13]
This is plenty. This is more than enough.[14]

[1] Geoffrey Hill
[2] Janos Pillinszky
[3] Janos Pillinszky
[4] Elie Wiesel
[5] Misklos Radnoti
[6] Barbara Sonek
[7] Hayim Gouri
[8] Avron Sutzkeven
[9] Jadeusz Rozewicz
[10] Paul Celan
[11] Paul Celan
[12] Ben Ruby
[13] Abraham Sutzkever
[14] Geoffrey Hill

Nina Wilson

Nina Wilson has a BA in History and Writing from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She has published photography, essays, poetry, and fiction in The Pearl, Coe Review, The Fishfood Magazine, Adelaide Magazine and for Camp Fire Heart of Iowa. In the realm of poetry, she is mainly interested in writing found or cento poetry. She loves the ability to piece together lines and phrases from other works to make something new, while doing her best to understand the context and meaning of the original poets’ words. When it comes to fiction, she loves to explore illness and how it affects people and their families.

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