Monday, June 18, 2012
He has just released his seventh poetry collection, as part of the Poiema Poetry Series from Cascade Books, entitled Epitaphs for the Journey: New, Selected and Revised Poems. As the subtitle states, it harvests the best from his extensive body of poetry, fine tunes it, and adds a selection of strong new poems that can proudly stand alongside the earlier work. He has taken great pains for this volume to improve poetry that has already been highly acclaimed. I am honoured to have been able to serve as editor for this excellent project.
Mariani’s first collection Timing Devices (1979) featured engravings by visual artist Barry Moser; their relationship, both personally and professionally, has continued through the years. Moser has generously contributed powerful engravings for Epitaphs for the Journey. It is available from Wipf & Stock.
The Stone Not Cut by Hand
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
Nebuchadnezzar stared while the prophet blazed.
A stone not cut, stormed Daniel, by any human hand,
however self-assured or self-deluded. Understand:
It is the Lord has quarried here. The king’s eyes glazed,
because all he knew was earthly power: kings who razed
entire cities—dogs, women, babies, mules, the very land.
Kings whose subjects, high & low, did their each command.
A stone not quarried by any hand but God’s. Amazed,
the king fell back before the prophet’s words. A stone
that would smash each self-important, self-made idol,
whether built of gold or steel or any other thing their throne
was made of. Yes, whatever insane, grand mal, suicidal
impulse kings could conjure up. A stone by God alone.
Womb-warm, lamb-gentle, world-wielding, tidal.
Posted with permission of the poet.
*This is the second Kingdom Poets post about Paul Mariani.
Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the award-winning author of the poetry collections Poiema (Wipf & Stock) and So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed (Rubicon Press). They are both available at: www.dsmartin.ca