26 December, 2007

hawk roosting

i was told over christmas of a story of my father as a child, at school in yorkshire. He must have been no more than 12, possibly 13. The rather strict teacher, a former military man, had given the class a poem, by ted hughes, and had blasted "whatever you tell me, don't say it is about a bird." and this he boomed menacingly at the top of his voice, over and over, to a class of terrified children that glanced over the text and could only latch onto the title. Who would be "picked upon" and asked to disclose the meaning behind the words. The first victim, a witless girl, couched her answer with a humble "i don't know." "jackson?" "Yes, sir..."
"what is this poem about"
Assuredly, he answered: "sir, it is about god."
He got a beating, regardless.

I sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed.
Inaction, no falsifying dream
Between my hooked head and hooked feet:
Or in sleep rehearse perfect kills and eat.

The convenience of the high trees!
The air's buoyancy and the sun's ray
Are of advantage to me;
And the earth's face upward for my inspection.

My feet are locked upon the rough bark.
It took the whole of Creation
To produce my foot, my each feather:
Now I hold Creation in my foot

Or fly up, and revolve it all slowly -
I kill where I please because it is all mine.
There is no sophistry in my body:
My manners are tearing off heads -

The allotment of death.
For the one path of my flight is direct
Through the bones of the living.
No arguments assert my right:

The sun is behind me.
Nothing has changed since I began.
My eye has permitted no change.
I am going to keep things like this

1 comment:

albeo said...

I think it's about Britney...