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This poem is taken from PN Review 145, Volume 28 Number 5, May - June 2002.

Shot from the Fold John Peck

            The music that we hear inwardly... acquires a 'new body'.
                              Dietrich Bonhoeffer in prison

Sound undergirds mind, not in mind's turbid flow
but humming beneath the banks, so far past performance
that could we bend to it, placing our ears to its earth
as peasants did with oncoming armies, we'd feel its advance.

What is to stop a Greek in need, and in the right shoes,
from lifting jaw splinters of a lost king, bleached to a name,
out of the excavator's pit and retuning the pitches
of the blood-oiled laments? No warrant needed, no fame,

just timing. And when I heard him recite, what is it that heard?

The Hindu crooning over his snakebite halfway down
the Grand Canyon, from spells already old in the Vedas,
knows that in his mouth the phrase I meet your poison!
works as reliably as his guide's two-way radios.

But I have befriended Niranjan and Daljit, engineers
...


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