Never going away

(for David Holgate, 1939-2014, musician, sculptor, master letter-cutter)

The letter is the music
carved like jazz into Welsh slate,
the bass notes
not too hard and flat,
rubbed down again,
until the skin is soft enough to bear it –

until the message swings and sings,
digging into the past with passion
then surfacing again
touching the apple
and the cathedral,
inside and out

Just making things, he said,
doing things properly,
in the spirit

I see him catch beauty in a trap –
catch its essence, like prayer,
then set it free,
leaving his fine, exuberant mark,
never really going away