Jon Thompson
Sanctuary of the Unbidden

Astray & all nameless: grace

exceeding namelessness.

To be named is a journey

on the way to oblivion.

Rough-cut, lichened stones

mark the disappeared. Birdsong,

high in the oaks, flitting

in and out of branches,

keeps time with

a kind of heaven.

Ivy tangles the inventory.

Slaves at the back, &

the further back you go,

the less visible the record.

Strain of labor unrequited.

Toil of generations

in the rusting chains

hanging from iron rods;

the simple arc of gravity

makes a simple elegy.

In the helter-skelter

of headstones, depressions

& stone markers, there’s

a final witness & truth.

Shadows as much as

sunlight; a longing

only half-lingering

in the unsaid.