The coin, a double-dozen thousand years,
Each year three hundred, sixty-five mornings,
Each morning, someone rising, the owner
Of a silver owl and a goddess’s head,
Unless it slept in soil somewhere. But this,
The bright and heavy star, lost from its night,
Dropped from the dark, surely wasn’t hidden
Or let go, ever, was it? So warm
Like just out of the pocket of a man
A double-dozen thousand years ago
And in a dusty land. So bright, the polish
Of finger-sweat and greed still thick on it.
And even if it lay somewhere, still owned
By someone, or the heir and son, someone
Who didn’t know that this was his bequest
While it was locked in a box or folded
In heavy cloth, wrapped pocket-wise, forgot.
Can we even forget silver? Are we
So rushed and careless, so full of hurry?
An element unseen, unfelt, like quarks,
Detectable by reflection and effect,
Its signature a half-life of regret…
If he had pride in striking such a picture,
Twice, once on either side, and then the man
Who cast it, glee to see the metal flow,
Then where is your treasuring, O tourist,
O passing tourist in this museum world?
Your stool was well-designed, gave pleasure, pay
To someone still living, his name not unknown!
Your trousers, brooch and boots are all silver.
To honour strangers perhaps we should strip
And put our clothes on slowly, prayerfully,
Again, instead of hurriedly dressing
In the morning’s mist of barely-slept sleep.
The prayerful life is a life well-lived,
The worshipful life one of peace and thanks,
The good news life looks with Jesus’ eyes
On the world that we make with our hands.