ai] iron [ɪ] in [ʌ/ ʊ] rung [ɒ] cross [i:] greased [əʊ] mould [e/ eə:] set

[ɑ:] bar [ei] weight [ɜː] world [ʊə/ u] root [au] pound

[æ] stamped [ɔː] wall [u:] root

Weighing In

The 56 lb. weight. A solid iron

Unit of negation. Stamped and cast

With an inset, rung-thick, moulded, short crossbar

For a handle. Squared-off and harmless-looking
til you tried to lift it, then a socket-ripping,
Life-belittling force -

Gravity's black box, the immovable

Stamp and squat and square-root of dead weight.

Yet balance it

Against another one placed on a weighbridge -

On a well-adjusted, freshly greased weighbridge -
everything trembled, flowed with give and take.


And this is all the good tidings amount to:

This principle of bearing, bearing up
bearing out, just having to

Balance the intolerable in others

Against our own, having to abide
ever we settled for and settled into

Against our better judgement. Passive
Suffering makes the world go round.
Peace on earth, men of good will, all that

Holds good only as long as the balance holds,
scales ride steady and the angels' strain
longs itself at an unearthly pitch.

To refuse the other cheek. To cast the stone.
Not to do so some time, not to break with
obedient one you hurt yourself into

Is to fail the hurt, the self, the ingrown rule.
Prophesy who struck thee! When soldiers mocked
Blindfolded Jesus and he didn't strike back

They were neither shamed nor edified, although
thing was made manifest - the power

Of power not exercised, of hope inferred

By the powerless forever. Still, for Jesus' sake,
Do me a favour, would you, just this once?
sy, give scandal, cast the stone.


Two sides to every question, yes, yes, yes
every now and then, just weighing in

Is what it must come down to, and without

Any self-exculpation or self-pity.

Alas, one night when follow-through was called for
And a
quick hit would have fairly rankled,

You countered that it was my narrowness
kept me keen, so got a first submission.
held back when I should have drawn blood

And that way (mea culpa) lost an edge.
deep mistaken chivalry, old friend.

At this stage only foul play cleans the slate.