Liz Garton Scanlon (liz_scanlon) wrote,
Liz Garton Scanlon

Poetry Friday -- Lambs and Horses

So my daughter wrote a very operatic new song about a herd of Appaloosas.
In Trinidad.
Whose favorite meal was lamb.
And it's told from the perspective of a little lamb.


"The weird part of the song, Mama," she explained to me, "is that horses are vegetarian."


I don't even know where to begin deconstructing this baby.

I kind of thought I should give you a run at the lyrics, but I'll bet you get the idea.
So instead, a couple of poems about horses and lambs:

Spring Song, Meirionydd
-- John Dressel

A white combustion rules these fields,
and testifies to men, and rams;
the mind of winter thaws, and yields --
Great God, the world is drunk with lambs.

The high grey stone is clean of snows,
the streams come tumbling, far from dams;
the wind is green, the day's eye grows --
Great God, the world is drunk with lambs.

The heart, gone light as all the ewes,
redounds with milk, and epigrams
that make no sense; except their news -- 
Great God, the world is drunk with lambs.

In gold October, grown to size,
they'll know the hook, and hang with hams,
but March is all their enterprise --
Great God, the world is drunk with lambs.

I love that phrase, drunk with lambs. Don't you?
It's so lush and surprising.
I'm gonna figure out a way to slide that into my conversation this weekend, to be sure...

No. 6
--Charles Bukowski

I'll settle for the 6 horse
on a rainy afternoon
a paper cup of coffee
in my hand
a little way to go,
the wind twirling out
small wrens from 
the upper grandstand roof,
the jocks coming out
for a middle race
and the easy rain making
at once
almost alike,
the horses at peace with
each other
before the drunken war
and I am under the grandstand
feeling for
settling for coffee,
then the horses walk by
taking their little men
away --
it is funeral and graceful
and glad
like the opening
of flowers.

Sometimes I'm stunned at what a poet's allowed to do, 
the language and images he or she's allowed to put together -- slap, bang -- 
all in one little poem. 
The oddest things, made to seem inevitable.
Cigarette and flowers, horses and lambs...


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