Wednesday, October 25, 2006


You are soaked with the cold rain -
Like a pelt in tanning liquor.
The moor's swollen waterbelly
Swags and quivers, ready to burst at a step.

Some scrap of dried fabric rips
Itself up
From the marsh-quake, scattering. A soft

Explosion of twilight
In the eyes, with spinning fragment
Somewhere. Nearly lost, wing flash

Stab-trying escape routes, wincing
From each, ducking under
And flinging up over -

Bowed head, jockey shoulders
Climbing headlong
As if hurled downwards -

A mote in the watery eye of the moor -
Hits cloud and
Skis down the far rain wall

Slashes a wet rent
in the rain-duck
Twisting out sideways -

rushes his alarm

Back to the ice age.

The downpour helmet
Tightens on your skull, riddling the pools,
Washing the standing stones and fallen shales
With empty nightfall.

Ted Hughes

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