Via Negativa by Steve Xerri

Via Negativa

At the sight of long-stemmed lily buds
opened overnight in tongues of white fire
you prickle with the sense of a script
being played out : but you can’t tell
who is writing or how to translate it.
In your mind’s eye an image of blazing
letters blackens the page, a conceit
no sooner slammed down on paper
than deleted.
………………..No matter : failure
upon approximation is all there is,
step after step on the negative path
to not quite naming what steers worlds
and stars in cosmic circles, guides sperm
to egg time after time, holds sky
from earth and turns the seas
between – the not god that flows
and glows in everything.


Steve Xerri is a former teacher, musician & designer now making pots and writing poetry. He won the title of Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year 2017, and his work has been published or is forthcoming in Acumen, Amaryllis, Atrium, Brittle Star, Cinnamon anthology From Hallows to Harvest, Clear Poetry, Envoi, Ink Sweat and Tears, Ó Bhéal anthology ‘Five Words Vol XII’, The Clearing,The Interpreter’s House, Picaroon, The Poetry Shed, Poetry Society Newsletter, Proletarian Poetry, Stride Magazine and Words For The Wild.

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