First Unitarian Society of Madison, Wisconsin

Nickolas Butler, poet and coffee roaster, is the winner of the 2007 Davis Demitasse Poetry Contest and is a runner-up in the Wisconsin Academy’s 2009 Poetry Contest. His writing has appeared in The Progressive magazine, Roast, Fresh Cup, the Wisconsin State Journal, Isthmus and several other publications. He is also a man with a keen eye, as this poem testifies about the meeting house of the First Unitarian Society, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright from metal that seems alive. — Fabu

First Unitarian Society of Madison, Wisconsin

The heavy metal that is pooled here is the green of an element that is homesick for the cold, black china of the deep deaf earth now mined up and brought into the light of things for people to see and use cut from the meat of the planet with sharp knives and tools in cavities and tunnels more like the veins and organs of extinct animals now and then housed in places called museums. But that good metal which once sung like mayan gold or better is now a green more jade and it has dripped down these years onto the cement beside this church’s good chalk steps where it is an immobile puddle of metal that children draw upon with paint and crayon, remarkable in that metal can move like music too down from the roofs of ornate places to the pavement of the poor and dignified to be walked on like the good stones and rock it once was.

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