Sunday, 8 January 2012

Sunday Poem


In this zoo there are beasts which
like some truths, are far too true
(clawing ones, and fire-breathers
and flesh-rakers like piranhas
and those that crush the bones to chalk
and those that bare their red teeth in the night)
and some shoot fire to melt the snow
and some chew lazily
on continental shelves,
and some wrap themselves around the world
in an embrace which does not kill
but invents new life around the wound.

Therefore I invoke you, red beast
who moves my blood,
demon of my darker self,
denizen who crawls in my deep want,
white crow, black dove,
eagle and vulture of my love,
and you great buzzard of my dreams,
I call you down
out of yellow rocks and pools of salt,
desert temples hollowed out,
and you white ghost who dwells
in the corner of my eye
to see those things I cannot see
(the broken edges of the air,
the flicker of forms before they occur).

But I invoke you all too well
and you are all too true.
A dragon scares me into heaven,
a fish spits out the continent of Mu,
a big snake recoils and goes to sleep,

I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
By Gwendolyn MacEwen, from Penned: Zoo Poems (2009) edited by Stephanie Bolster, Katia Grubisic, Simon Reader

No comments: