Here I think of the centuries,
six million of them, they say.
Yesterday a fine rain fell;
today the warmth has brought out the crowds.
After Christ, what? The molecules
are without redemption. My shadow
sunning itself on this stone
remembers the lava. Zeus looked down
on a brave world, but there was
no love there; the architecture
of their temples was less permanent
than these waves. Plato, Aristotle,
all those who furrow the calmness
of their foreheads are responsible
for the bomb. I am charmed here
by the serenity of the reflections
in the sea's mirror. It is a window
as well. What I need
now is a faith to enable me to out-stare
the grinning faces of the inmates of its asylum,
the failed experiments God put away.
by R. S. Thomas
from Frequencies (1978)
Returning from a raid,
just missed the tower
where, over the West Door
the Wild Man with oak leaves
wound round his body
faces the Dragon
wreathed in vines.
Crash landed at Church Farm,
ploughing itself in,
churning up the loam.
Two crew dead.
The Flight Engineer
the old country, resuming
his portion of the pasture.
by Jeremy Hooker
from ‘Debris‘ a sequence of poems