Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Canto Caligulae

What wondrous miracle a human neck is!
Divine, slender, lissome; a bridge to connect
The heart's beating passion with analysis,
From the cold, calculating brain; a perfect
Feature of Paris, Anubis, or Isis;
That vulnerable, captivating effect
Of David's ponderous marble poise - his
veins as they stand out for a knife to transect;

Does it not tempt the hand to reach out and clasp
Between the palms, and feel the throat convulsing,
Pulsating wildly, in its desperate gasp
To break free; Or would it be deemed revulsing
To gloat as slit veins leak blood and hear the rasp
Of the dying, as one's own nerves are pulsing?

(a-b-a-b-a-b-a-b c-d-c-d-c-d)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

To Mary Anning

"She sells seashells on the seashore"
Is all we remember of her.
Not that she found the pterosaur
Nor that she was a Dissenter.

She had a talent for finding
Whole skeletons of dinosaurs.
She made her living by selling
Ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs.

Wrong class, wrong sex, wrong religion
- Doomed her to be a peasant woman.
All the fame and recognition
Went to idle wealthy gentlemen.

But now we're finally giving
The credit due to Mary Anning.

(a-b-a-b c-d-c-d e-f-e-f g-g)

(She deserves a far better poet; she gets me)