Minotaurus

Grab the bull by the horns
He suggested, as if this
Is something diurnal and
Straightforward, as though I
Lived with the inventive
Umayyad Caliph of Cordoba,
Or am I Pasiphaë’s consort,
Or, worse, Telephassa’s daughter
Taming the many-headed lusts
Of Zeus which left her grieving
Parents distraught and devoid
Of laughter as long as their
Unenviable lives uncoiled, on
Carthaginian shorelines, just
Like the parents of Meredith
Of Kent, and Georgia.

Moreover, I am easily misled,
And being a novice it threw
Me off, once, twice, twenty
Seven times and stamped its
Great and disdainful hooves
And mauled me as if I might
Be worthy of plague and smite,
With deliberate aforethought,
Until you could no longer tell
What was my pallid skin
And what were contusions,
And that, more or less,
(As I lay in muddy pools
Molten with my blood unspooled)
Resembled the rest of my life.

Ekcha Rubdizô

Layers upon layers
Like sedimentary strata,
Then all of a sudden
We find ourselves
Out of reach of the arms
Of those who crafted with
Sandstone and chalk;
This is just my example.

We set sail with deliberations
Exempt from sense for
The infamous whirlpool,
Regardless of rumours,
Regardless of her
Layers upon layers
Of teeth with limpets bleeding,
Emboldened by newness
Of youth and cordite
Stored in wooden tubes,
The viewer and the viewed,
We preached to the priests
Who refused to immolate
A sheep with swallowed rue.

An inverse plume
Of drowning hues,
There are no songs there,
No shanties; no grebes
Or aquiline sea-portents;
Our waterlogged thoughts
Are dissolved of fantasies
And Poseidonic prayers
That enriched our years
In tireme training
Like flares lighting up
Underwater caverns
And lantern-thoughts
Iridescent as herring
In the cranial Mediterranean
Crevasses of monk-seals,
Dreaming on their rocks
Of squid and of molluscs.

I pulled the plug
And a whirlpool vortex
Of washing-up water
Rejoined a greater creation.
Oleaginous bubbles
Swelled like the fur on the back
Of the duck-hunting dog
Bred for swimming,
Or like the cumulonimbus
Over the fens, heralding
Mid-spring rains soon,
And I knew then from the patterns
Bled through my pen,
And through those clouds shaped like
Three hearts in a cuttlefish exhumed,
The certainty of storms by noon.