His eyes flared: ‘Do not draw the blind!’
The summer’s burning-glass drilled in
To volt the room with surplus pain
Piped from the dazzled dying land.
Through masks of dust they eyed askance
How more light much more rifled him
Of sense yet in the fleshless frame
Brewed forces cryptic and intense.
Day after day he bleated, fought
As if time’s weaving must untwist
And fix them there to watch aghast
Forever’s effigy of drought.
Oh, die! their blank masks could have prayed;
And suddenly it seemed he saw
What their appalled still eyes might see,
And closed his deathless own, and died.
To bury — final task they had.
In rain, they dug the formal wound;
Though his wet box was light as wind
They slithered gaily on the mud.
© Hal Porter