Saturday 11 September 2010

The Oiled Swans

Upon the waters black, a wedge aglide,
As graceful as ghosts fleeing dawn,
Nine white swans in widows weeds,
Were paddling slowly through a slick,
In procession along the oil choked canal.

Some passing barge must have spat forth,
The foul phlegm upon the waters,
Where it lay, as dark as night itself,
Amidst sinister rainbows, a black rose,
Whose wet petals reflected the setting sun.

In silence each passed, as would the dead,
As if sailing their way along the Styx,
White feathers afoul with all their sins,
Their wings ploughing lonely furrows,
Astern nine times with Charon, until Hades.

We do not see the truth in such things,
Nor the answer in its sacred guise,
It seems lost to us, as are all such souls,
Until each of us redeems the crime,
And offer hope from our hands to atone.

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