Friday, 11 February 2011

Stories / poems from ‘Ana Thema’ – Alan Howard: 4


Green – shadow green
dark upon the mould-rich loam
close-canopied, the deeping coomb
marches hard upon her flanking down.

Under her suffocating glance
her concupiscent thorns advance
their promiscuous entanglements
in swathes across the virgin down
bursting bloody to the quick, bitter farrow
of the Hag.

I pause now,
in this dusky close,
abandoned, beside myself and breathless;
love’s frenzy coursing through my veins
the leprous track of her vengeance.
Anis-enraged, her night-spawned host
stalks, phosphor-eyed, through the shadow-footed margins
of the cold bog pool, whose rippling reflects, hypnotically,
the laying of the moon’s silver wreath upon me,
spell-bound victim of her passion,
drowning in the death-hallowing pitch
of her fierce exultation.

Strife-ridden through thickets of blasted thorn;
driven to ground, fire-racked and torn;
pierced through and through, love-incensed,
I embrace again whole-hearted Anathema
feel the deepest shades of her yearning
rise, rubescent, into the pale flesh of my days –
feel the wrench of half-remembered roots entwine
about my limbs,
lashed in communion – cloud, wind and rain –
drenching the earth, mud-puddles, rank weeds,
rough rivuletted bark, glistening dew-speckled webs,
shivering – the leaves sing the wind,
the wild fluttering birds...


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