The Scientist & Augury

The Scientist

I pick hollow husks in autumn when the ripened seeds have fled

And airy spheres of thistledown are sailing on the sky.

The clouds are stained with crimson where the falling sun has bled.

The bitter, brittle twists speak of what it is to die.

I pin fireflies in cases by the caustic light of day,

O, beacon sparks of phosphorus that glowed among the trees

In clinical stagnation I observe their cold decay.

Must falling stars fall further than to dance upon the breeze?

I dissect the sacred goose to find how golden eggs are made.

O, mythical beast from a nobler age when the human heart had wings.

Now the goose is dead and the gold is cast into tarnished coins and paid

In vain to buy the faith I lost from solid, sordid things.

Written in 1990 while revising for the finals of my zoology degree

Riposte to ”The Scientist”:

Augury of redress

In autumn husks are hollow; yea they curl to cast their seed.

But happy spring is on its way, and dormant things shall feed.

Those bitter twists that spoke of death: their words hold no more power.

Eternity renews her breath, her pent-up weepings shower.

The sun, the sun, he riseth high, with glorious hues around;

The spheres that sail beyond the sky crescendo in their sound.

The fireflies shall break their chain; and all the shooting stars

Shall swoop in freedom once again, as nature rends her bars.

The human heart may yet have wings: take flight – arise once more!

A new dawn now Aurora brings: rejoice from shore to shore!

O sacred goose & every beast with golden eggs & eyes,

Raven ye now your holy feast & gorge your rightful prize.

Taboo of death be now destroyed.

And Mammon cast into the Void.

Lines written while detained under section 2 of the Mental Health Act in ward 3 of Springfield psychiatric hospital 15/2/21

> Next poem