All men. Or shall we say,
not chauvinistic, all
people, it is all
people? Beasts manure
the ground, nibble to
promote growth; but man,
the consumer, swallows
like the god of mythology
his own kind. Beasts walk
among birds and never
do the birds scare; but the human,
that alienating shadow
with the Bible under the one
arm and under the other
the bomb, as often
drawn as he is repelled
by the stranger waiting for him
in the mirror – how
can he return home
when his gaze forages
beyond the stars? Pity him,
then, this winged god, rupturer
of gravity's control
accelerating on and
outward in the afterglow
of a receding laughter?
by R. S. Thomas
from No Truce With The Furies (1995)
Lately I’ve been thinking about Efnisien.
The trouble-maker, the rash prince, the complicated man.
I see him in the north of Wales.
It’s the dead of night in the eleventh century,
everyone exhausted from feasting.
He slashes the lips, tails, and eyelids of horse
after horse until all the King of Ireland’s
steeds are maimed for his revenge.
In the dawn, he leans back to rest
against the toadflax growing in the castle walls.
I find myself heading toward that kind
of trouble. Wanting to disrupt the feast,
overturn the order, throw a child
into the fire to avenge some insult.
And later be perfectly willing to break
my heart for any neccesary reason.
by Margaret Lloyd