Take heart, Prytherch.
Over you the planets stand,
And have seen more ills than yours.
This canker was in the bone
Before man bent to his image
In the pool’s glass. Violence has been
And will be again. Between better
And worse is no bad place
For a labourer, whose lot is to seem
Stationary in traffic so fast.
Turn aside, I said; do not turn back.
There is no forward and no back
In the fields, only the year’s two
Solstices, and patience between.
by R. S. Thomas
from Pieta (1966)
I imagine this midnight moment’s forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock’s loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.
Through the window I see no star:
Something more near
Though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:
Cold, delicately as the dark snow,
A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now
Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come
Across clearings, an eye,
A widening deepening greenness,
Coming about its own business
Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox
It enters the dark hole of the head.
The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.
by Ted Hughes (1930-1998)
from The Hawk In The Rain