The Fortitude of Poetry by Colin Christopher Cairns

I am not a silent poet

Brother, what must I do
to remind you of my
innocence? All I did was raise
some questions and warn
you of a storm coming in
from the edge of Arabia.

But now you accuse me
of subversion! Yet I recall
that day precisely, you and I
sitting by the cafe in Abha,
drinking coffee laced
with cardamon.

The winter sun had settled
in the crease of your brow –
the light gradually softening
that hard glance you aimed at me
like a dart. And if I may say,
your judgement of me was harsh,

for if I am walking on the road
and I see a man, half naked,
being nailed to a cross –
I cannot restrain my tongue,
and although I cannot undo
what has already been done,

I can remember! How the light
glowed in the folds of his flesh –
how it stretched
and tugged

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