Sunday, 28 August 2011


The Drowner

I cannot relate the fact: not the pythons
that seized my feet in their bed of mud,
nor the black-lab Anubis who rose with a gasp
and assumed a human face; nor the gaps
in the headfronts of the bystanders
as they sidled in a fairyland, then fled.

The foetus-form, tender in its clothes,
slipping from the sun-beamed jangle
into murk and further murk, a dream
of gentleness, supine submariner, asleep,
a vision of peace that fouled the water
more complete than rot and sewage.

And I cannot dare relate the fear,
for fear of fear, and fear of fear's evil;
my spirit was made black with the same,
the criminality of terror, panic, forcing fugue,
all tainted: I walked away, shoulders shivering
for the moral grasp of apprehension.

The moment of redemption is untellable:
the balloon-buoyed rise from the riverbed,
fingers seizing that corpse-scruff, surging,
so glad he was gone and not drowning me;
and the moment I squeezed the life from him
and neck-deep still, cursed him into breathing.

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