Poem – Immortality (By David Russell)


You carried your vengeance beyond decease –

Slowed down the pyre’s cleansing,

Slowed down the soil’s, the water’s warmth,

Left total body change open to the senses –

Pursued your cause beyond its effects,

Stepped out beyond all examples,

Further than all reflections,

Forestalled all worth –

All kindred, all common links –


Seeking to frame a cleansing,

Seeking a bubbling stench,

Blinding off the cause, sinking the bubble,

Aerating the stench.


Since you thought that such a front

Would keep your footsteps light,

Sidestep the quicksand’s dam

So that you could token-touch a cairn –

Erected but unentered,

Tactile – taking an unbroken course –

Blinded wholly on touching.


The given whole, from oneself all taken –

The river whole, clean-bleached,

Its bed eroded;

Nodding answers from the straight,

The cogged, the balanced;

Pressing blinks for engulfment

From the all –


The all whole, harnessed,

Blasted, made permanent:

Some lichen fossilized

Inside a flagstone.


Sad lump beyond your strength,

Your total celebration –

Sunken, dreaded – an iceberg’s reality;

Prismatic, pricking some seeming velvet womb

That rips the skin when touching it;

Total cold, some shivering rib-case

At last replaceable, to thread and string

The lesser wonders.


Total colour, total glittering –

In nothing lacking save the power

To follow one another.


Headlong longing, and yet not in for pitching without;

A limb for pitching, unditched by gravity,

For wishing, jumping.


Mere within the drowning,

Jumping mere with burning.


Author Bio:

David Russell was born in 1940. Resident in the UK. Writer of poetry, literary criticism, speculative fiction and romance. Main poetry collection Prickling Counterpoints (1998); poems published in online International Times. Main speculative works High Wired On (2002); Rock Bottom (2005). Translation of Spanish epic La Araucana, Amazon 2013. Romances: Self’s Blossom; Explorations; Further Explorations; Therapy Rapture; Darlene, An Ecstatic Rendezvous (all pub Extasy (Devine Destinies). Singer-songwriter/guitarist. Main CD albums Bacteria Shrapnel and Kaleidoscope Concentrate. Many tracks on You Tube.


This poem is part of the complete collection; Speculum: Collected Poetry and Prose, by David Russell.

View or Download the complete collection here in PDF format.

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