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The Demon of Shape is Rehabilitated by Tim Kiely


having lived in other people like 

a monk inside their cell – where the walls 

are made of hands – having spent lifetimes 


practising the taste of curses 

– whispers – stones – bread – 

endeavouring to do them justice – 


having walked the geography of foreign 

fingertips – having made sore 

those feet desiring to walk unshod 


up the slopes of all of them on the way 

to holiness – and at the end 

having travelled back through their bewildered 


eyes and stories to what was imagined 

as a self – only to find that there was 

a luminous nothing – was itself 


as thrilling and eviscerating 

as redemption was always reputed to be 

– in the best stories – having been stripped 


of all illusions – beneath that cloud 

when the downpour broke – when skin slid 

away and creation lay unclaimed – 


stretching away to the very 

extremities of all perception – 

having drunk the wind in all 


its coldness – having been shown 

that all was lost and recovered – all 

was unselved and instant – having known


---

Tim Kiely is a criminal barrister and poet based in London. He has been published by 'Dreich', 'South Bank Poetry', 'Under the Radar' and 'Magma'. His poetry pamphlet 'Hymn to the Smoke' was a winner of the 2020 Indigo Dreams First Pamphlet Competition

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