First Unitarian Society of Madison, Wisconsin

The metal of Frank Lloyd Wright's building seems alive

Nickolas Butler, poet and coffee roaster, is the winner of the 2007 Davis Demitasse Poetry Contest and is a runner-up in the Wisconsin Academy’s 2009 Poetry Contest. His writing has appeared in The Progressive magazine, Roast, Fresh Cup, the Wisconsin State Journal, Isthmus and several other publications. He is also a man with a keen eye, as this poem testifies about the meeting house of the First Unitarian Society, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright from metal that seems alive. — Fabu

First Unitarian Society of Madison, Wisconsin

The heavy metal that is pooled here
is the green of an element that is homesick
for the cold, black china of the deep deaf earth
now mined up
and brought into the light of things
for people to see and use
cut from the meat of the planet
with sharp knives and tools
in cavities and tunnels
more like the veins and organs of extinct animals
now and then housed in places called museums.
But that good metal which once
sung like mayan gold or better
is now a green more jade
and it has dripped down these years
onto the cement beside this church’s good chalk steps
where it is an immobile puddle of metal
that children draw upon with paint and crayon,
remarkable in that metal can move like music too
down from the roofs of ornate places
to the pavement of the poor and dignified
to be walked on like the good stones and rock
it once was.

Audio productions provided courtesy of Haggar Audio.

Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed
Advertisement

Subscribe

Madison Magazine August 2014 - August 2014 $19.95 for one year - Subscribe today