‘A, a, a, Domine Deus’

David Jones, The Albatross, 1928. Copper engraving, 17.5 x 13.5 cm. Private collection.

I said, Ah! what shall I write?

I enquired up and down.

       (He’s tricked me before with his manifold lurking-places.)

I looked for His symbol at the door. 

I have looked for a long while

           at the textures and contours.

I have run a hand over the trivial intersections. 

I have journeyed among the dead forms 

causation projects from pillar to pylon.

I have tired the eyes of the mind

           regarding the colours and lights. 

I have felt for His Wounds

           in nozzles and containers.

I have wondered for the automatic devices. 

I have tested the inane patterns

             without prejudice. 

I have been on my guard

             not to condemn the unfamiliar 

For it is easy to miss Him

              at the turn of a civilization.

I have watched the wheels go round in case I might see the living creatures like the appearance of lamps, in case I might see the Living God projected from the Machine. I have said to the perfected steel, be my sister and for the glassy towers I thought I felt some beginnings of His creature, but A, a, a, Domine Deus, my hands found the glazed work unrefined and the terrible crystal a stage-paste … Eia, Domine Deus

– David Jones, ‘A, a, a, Domine Deus’, in The Sleeping Lord, and Other Fragments (London: Faber & Faber, 1974), 9.

One comment

  1. Appreciate hearing from you Jason through your writing. What an artwork….. just finished walking the Picasso exhibition….

    Liked by 1 person

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