‘…the axes were against each other and while three cubits were left to cut? ... the voice of a man ...
called to his counterpart, (for) there was ZADA in the rock…’
(Siloam Inscription)

‘Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water?’
(2 Chronicles 32: 4)
Tunnelling is the simplest labyrinth
where we create direction blow by blow.
Two work-gangs hollowed loudness, chipped below
the city, hoped, between the outer spring
and inner pool, to meet – their labouring
could thus prolong a siege. Each couldn’t know,
except by sweat-plugged ear, the other’s clinks,
less clear than kings’ grand plans, those nearing notes –
twin tocks to their swung ticks – which had to mean
a door could be unlocked: an exit from the dream
of rock into each other’s eyes. Along the seams,
that song of stone linked Hezekiah’s teams,
and judged them by the tunnel’s kinks and torts.
Thanks to that zada – resonance – within
the rock, a blinded serpent route was cut,
which linked Siloam’s thirst to Gihon’s drink.
Sennacherib and his pack failed to outlive
the angel, plague or some domestic plot –
which leaves us with two gangs who in the gut
of darkness listened to each other’s picks.