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ark Horses

The house sat tethered on plots and blue moods,

white-walled and alone, with love in a mist

swathing the front garden in wispy charm.

Glassy performers acted the dailies:

screened drama built from brick and tinselwood.

There had been scenes of Florence, sunken gardens

and, 'Remember only the happy hours,'

before blessed torment stole the innocence,

and the inner cry, 'Why did you do it?'

reverberated in the new surrounds.

The scene lighting had shifted with Pegasus:

a bright sight flighted when night time winked out.

But in the domestic melodrama,

she failed to star and instead blinked and dimmed.

The extra work was not worth all the effort.

All the whinnying with plaintiff pauses

under the imported cedar-shingle roof;

all the lingering, cunning causes

echoing up the spiralling staircase.

If only she had learnt to nuzzle.

Back in town, there had been general progress

and good conduct cited in the prize front-piece.

Later, being re-shod at the smith's anvil,

'Take those black hooves off me,' fell from beauty,

and turned horseshoes into stilettos.

And so, amongst stalls of confusion,

a pitying presence drifted, unstable,

a yearning disappointment amongst

the other racing odds and certainties.

An exile, pawing in rain and winter wind.

The rusting iron horses beyond the trees

couldn't be measured by hands or hollow rings.

They simply traced and tracked the horizon line.

The half-acre outside was heaven-lent,

away from the deepening unease within.

Then, one day, the end arrived in a car.

Doors slammed, the old dirt road receded,

and trots and canters were re-engineered

to drive to a night-mare of confusion

from a paradise with no foundation

to narratives beyond continuity.


The world turned around about, tethered again,

transforming roots to ivy-clad belfries:

bat flights fro-ing and too-ing their torn flutters.

The bitter, silent moonglares, dipped in bile

cast icy mist-spells of blame and suspicion.

And yet . . .  and yet . . .

despite the confine of town's brick malaise,

despite the years interred and sealed in old clothe,

with only minor wear to the spine,

a prospect appeared full of paddocks and leaps.

And so now . . . and so now . . .

the aged foal capers again in the orchard;

a boundless, winged horse-lover gliding free,

having seeded fresh sprays of nigella,

a legacy of the sun bountiful.

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