fileg (fileg) wrote,

poetry month

an old favortie

Dom Moraes
The Watcher

Ochre like rust, the moss lay on the rocks.
The mountains sloped into the river. One
Day from the slope I watched a steaming fox
Towing a stream of hounds past me. The sun
Dilated, and a rush of birds declared
The kill. The sift of pads, light as a kiss,
Announced the homing of the hunters, tired.
Hiding among the rocks, I watched all this.

I watched red ants mine in the fallen skull
Till it was hollow, and a cup for dew.
The fieldmice came to sip when it was full
And furnished nightwork for the owls to do,
Which, later, furnished daywork for the ants.
In all this labour, nothing went amiss.
Each cycle moved as strictly as a dance.
Hiding among the rocks, I watched all this.

Today, upon these rocks, the moss is dry.
Where is our grave? When will the mountain split?
The dancers turn so fast they blur my eye.
Years pass, and still I am not used to it.
But I must watch the hot wind tilt the skull
And the ridged mask be raised as for a kiss.
We suffer and are not made beautiful.
Hiding among the rocks, I watched all this.

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