Robert Griffith

The Manifold

 

          —Iona, Scotland, 6th century C.E.
 

After the storm, the sky swept clean
as flagstones in the church, the shore
is littered with small pools of rain,
a shattered blue mosaic poured

across the rocks and left to dry
in August heat. Columba stands
and watches as the captive world
revolves in every puddle, the sand

and sky and breakers doubled blue
and buff across the beach, the world
reflected back a thousandfold
in fire and light. Nearby, curled

into the shadow of a rock,
a sparrow sings, its notes like slivers
of sun, its song so sharp and bright
that all the fractured world shivers.