—Decin, Czech Republic
Along the Elbe stones cry out,
as if tears alone could fill
a river bed. This year’s dry
as any of those chiseled here,
a date for each grim waterline:
Wenn du mich siehst, dann weine.
If you see me, weep.
Not hard to imagine such a current
stilled at last, these stones
banking only air, channeling dust.
What words then?
What eyes to see, to weep?
James Scruton is the author, most recently, of The Rules (Green Linden Press, 2019). His work has appeared in Poetry, North American Review, Poet Lore, Southern Poetry Review, and many other publications. He is currently Professor of English and Associate Academic Dean at Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee.
Statement by Featured Artist, Shelley Thomas: There is poetry in this stone. Its fossils speak to me in white dashes and dots, tubes that bulge and protrude. Like Morse Code. Like Braille. It tells the story of another time. I trace my fingers over its message. A different kind of hydrological dispatch. A warning sign, a rune, a message from the past.
Art: “Poetry,” 2017 (Shippersea, England)