THE DREAMS OF TWENTY CENTURIES

There’s a scatter of stars

and a moon just seen : the thin, tired orb

of a full moon quite fatigued, and the dusky bars

of the clouds that lean in mountainous grey

and begin to screen the gulping gunman shooting hard by

out in the still, the electric air, strung to its heights

of bedevilled storm.

It’s a gallowing dusk

as the emerald duck-heads bleed in the grass

and civilised power’s enduring farce is everywhere :

from the seat of the towns to the moors,

to the redshanks’ mud-freckled shores

above which three whimbrels whistle a tremble, triple, tremble                                                         song of inarticulate wrong?

and dreams,

slow as the heavy-gut pike in the sluggish streams,

the dreams of twenty centuries blink

and ravage themselves,

while we dance the dance with our scientific elves,

laughing at all the folly of our past with large-

enmeshed, lascivious, science-pliance eyes, cataracted

in castrated beliefs’ opacity of

I’s (no lies!).

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