Friday 26 December 2008

The Black Swan

The Black Swan.

He awoke alone on Christmas morning,
In a tomb of memories once a house,
And reaching over as he had always done,
Remembered then that she was gone,
So he rose in silence and shaved in silence,
And after dressing in a simple suit,
Shut the door and stepped out into the street.

Past homes filled with families reunited,
Where strangers such as he were not invited,
He walked to where the swan awaited,
Upon its slow stream of scrying glass
Whose waters were a black mirror
Reflecting only his pain and loss,
Impassive in its slow, solemn flow.

Down that Styx a black swan drifted,
Whose wings were dipped beneath the waters,
In grief retracted and flightless,
Captive bound in its dismal flow,
Forever adrift in the undertow,
Blind now to both sun and sky,
Pining for its mate that winter stole.

Then came a boatman upon a wooden barge,
Pulled by a hooded plodding horse,
A Clydesdale gelding, black as night,
Girdled with a silver towrope,
Drawing its cargo along the waterway,
As Hermes transports the dead,
To the banks of the river Acheron.

Charon upon his water chariot smiled,
His pockets filled with copper coins,
Passing through the nine Delph Locks,
That form the canals of Brierly Hill,
As nine rivers so encircle Hades,
With handfuls of mouldy bread,
He fed the swan and collected the dead.

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