Sunday, 24 April 2011
St Anthony and the Centaur
(for Maggie Ross)
There is another world, and it is this one.
He knows this is no devil, which breed
only the nausea of loss. No. Here is horse sweat,
sage, wild scent of trampled spurge,
flanks like oiled wood, and human eyes.
The slow rhythm of four lungs, two hearts,
beating wary vigil by the forest edge.
―Where is the path? To holy Paul of Thebes.
You must know him. He dwells in this wilderness, at a spring
beside a single tree. A raven brings to him his bread.
The centaur gives no answer. The nostrils flare
with shifting breath, stirring flies in chestnut hollows.
How can the hooves among the ferns be shod?
―We aid...one another. My kind. As thine do not.
Our bloods are knit in mercy. We have not forgot
that we are earthborn, and know no exile hence.
A blessing passes. Now the centaur points out the road,
and each to each bows low. Behold: shy annunciation
of the fathomless and hybrid Word.