Amy Clampitt

Here you will find the Poem Brought From Beyond of poet Amy Clampitt

Brought From Beyond

The magpie and the bowerbird, its odd 
predilection unheard of by Marco Polo 
when he came upon, high in Badakhshan, 
that blue stone?s 

embedded glint of pyrites, like the dance 
of light on water, or of angels 
(the surface tension of the Absolute) 
on nothing, 

turned, by processes already ancient, 
into pigment: ultramarine, brought from 
beyond the water it?s the seeming 
color of, 

and of the berries, blooms and pebbles 
finickingly garnishing an avian 
shrine or bower with the rarest hue 
in nature, 

whatever nature is: the magpie?s eye for 
glitter from the clenched fist of 
the Mesozoic folding: the creek sands, 
the mine shaft, 

the siftings and burnishings, the ingot, 
the pagan artifact: to propagate 
the faith, to find the metal, unearth it, 
hoard it up, 

to, by the gilding of basilicas, 
transmute it: O magpie, O bowerbird, 
O Marco Polo and Coronado, where do 
these things, these 

fabrications, come from?the holy places, 
ark and altarpiece, the aureoles, 
the seraphim?and underneath it all 
the howling?