(in reply to RS Thomas ‘Iago Prytherch’)
Why then do you fly up to this hill’s shoulder
While I quarry moles from the clouds
And tie their tails to trembling fencewire,
But to stare at a peasant’s numb hands
And fret why God wields the forlorn fingers so?
Or draw my hangman’s haul as lines and notes
To a vile music, dumb and remote?
In pulpit plumage, wings black as mass,
Your bone white head cruelly balances
Like a rook’s beak and you become crow
Forcing famine down into the guts
Of wet notebooks until I approach
Waving the barrels of my weary arms
and you are dark feathers and air
Descending to haunted churches
To stalk meaning from the emptiness.
Sleepily I’ll seek stars at soft fires
And you will lean long from your gloom
To poke again at my tired carcass
As though the furnace of my heart not yours
Requires meaning breathed into it.