Ancient Wonders: The Modern World
A sequence of six poems by Diane Jarvenpa that brings us to the crossroads where the mysteries of the past and the simple awe of the day-to-day meet. Sheralyn Barnes provided six images to accompany each section. The images were printed from magnesium engravings made from the scratch-board originals.
by Diane Jarvenpa
Origins of Writing
Fingers black and sticky,
I sit in this solitary narrow chair
spilling the salt and flowers
of ink figures onto paper.
You read these,
you keep them.
They are not the clay tablets of Elba,
they are not the gold votive tablets of Pyrgi,
they are not Chinese oracle bones.
They are signal, listing, record, symbol,
picture, keyhole, journey, shadow,
mistake, gaze, honks, spinnings,
pylon, chalk-lines, thicket, bubblings,
murmur, salvo, longing, promise.