"Go Loudly, Pentheus" - Kathleen Raine
from Gods and Mortals
Behind the time when dogwood starts to flower
I work and dance inside long changing days
to find the taste, the marrow of the hours
and twist it like a snake into a phrase
that stings with all the passion of a kiss
and smiles with anger in a lying mask
behind your back and turning in your wrist:
I give you back in blood the thing you ask.
And while you climb the mountain like a child,
expecting pleasures and a pretty dance,
I'll screw your trouble into a spring wild
and deadly in the hidden trap of chance.
Under your well-laid palace stones I've cracked
and wriggled like a rooting lightning-gale
and gently, sweetly in bright birds of fact
I'll wind fat songs of fancy up your trail.
Go loudly, grin behind your mask as dead
as I will make you in a ringing glade.
I take joy in the sour blood I've said
into your ignorant ears. Now fade
and take my phosphor in your vein
as suddenly as it has ripped your sky.
Hear as you die the innocent refrain
of birds inside your blue unseeing eye.
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Last updated 23 October 05
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