An Eighteenth Century Beam Engine

An Eighteenth century beam engine,
simple, with central power,
a church of steam.

An engineer approached,
and created
sharp movement of spiking light,
a natural power directed, dangerous,
water torn with untiring ferocity.
Its true purpose, he said,
is utility.

An artist approaches,
and savours
wild yet predicted movement,
bitter, nasal charcoal,
noise like Hades imagined,
steam jetting from each and every joint.
Its true purpose, she says,
is form.

A shaded man approaches
and ignores,
he counts his beans to three,
thinks of four,
he imagines rows of black and time,
a regiment of flies.
Its true purpose,
is me.