(c) Ted Hughes
I imagine this midnight moment’s forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock’s loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.
Through the window I see no star:
Something more near
Though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:
Cold, delicately as the dark snow,
A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now
Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come
Across clearings, an eye,
A widening deepening greenness,
Coming about its own business
Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox
It enters the dark hole of the head.
The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.
I just enjoy reading Ted Hughes poetry. It is out of this world! It is intricate and full of depth of meaning.
This poem of his reminded me of a late night 'Fox Thought' which helped me to write a poem of my own.
I had originally intended to write my poem about Bryan my husband. What he meant to me down the years and the things I admire about him. I even got as far as to read some of it over the phone to my son and he liked what he heard. Then strangely, one evening I was burning the midnight oil, trying to chisel away and improve on my original poem, whilst using the concept of a box and what was inside or outside it; When I seemed to be taken over by another hand and I wrote the following poem.
Perhaps it was the fear of death through my having cancer at the time, which pushed the words out of my head and onto paper. Who knows? I do know that I didn't sit down intending to write it.
I suppose you could call it my 'Comfort' poem.
So here is my 'Fox Thought' poem. No way am I classing it in the same league as Ted Hughes poem above. I am just borrowing on the concepts and theme of his as to how mine came about.
The Box (c) Jeanie Kirkby 2006
Do not be afraid to hold this box,
Hewn by an immortal hand.
Hold it. Feel its life force
Springing from its sides.
Turn it and see your life
Before time stood still.
Be not afraid to turn it again to see how in spring
you ran laughing and playing
With your childhood friends;
In the park after dark
Climbing trees. All this you’ll see,
And more, when you hold the side
With the mirrors of infinity.
You see there is no need to be afraid.
When there, before you, on another side
Is a chimera of your family appearing,
And reappearing, throughout life’s ages.
Happily unaware of time slowing
Down, throughout your summer and autumn.
Do not be afraid to see through the leaves
Of time and look at what you had before
Time stood still.
Slide the window of the world open
On its other side, and smell the winter snows.
Bone chillingly cold as they rasp at the door
Of life and death.
See how they glow like crystal tears.
Do not be afraid to open the lid
And breathe in the scent of heavens
Warm welcome to you as a spirit of the universe.
Do not be afraid as the roots of the box
Disappear and you are revealed as a
Shimmering surge of the nuclei and atoms
Of all that you are and were to man.
You will see inside the box, as you lift the lid,
His world lays waiting for you to step into.
Do not be afraid.
All will be as you have known it.
Love Jeanie xxxxxxx