Restoration

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Is it in the nature of music to become more hectic?
Or merely an excuse for not having an end,
In the sense of resolution, so to let it
Fizzle out in grandiose disintegration?

The toy car I found in the street is motionless;
The only car I possess, I feel like adding.
On the window-sill, red and shiny and exciting,
Next to the Icon of the Triumph of Orthodoxy:

A golden postcard from the British Museum,
The Empress Theodora, the Virgin and Child –
The infant like a shrunken Athenian philosopher
With his receding hairline and toga –

And all the priests and administrators there
Against the cracked background scored with crosses.
Did Iconoclasm save the Empire? All that bling
Melted down to pay the armies in adequate coinage?

I’ll leave that question open. I pick up my toy car
And run it along the table beside my poem.

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