Posted in poetry project

3. First sight of the bull

search_stage3_bulls1
“The sun is warm, the wind is mild,
willows are green along the shore –
Here no Ox can hide!”

Sun blots the landscape
soaking the faraway view to a faded wash
eyes forced to a squint, slit-eyed I watch
reeds and trees stand up against the glare
silhouettes sooty as after bushfires
a fine art drawing in red chalk and charcoal
blotches of citrine light and shade
shape-shifting into dappled hide of ox

In the salt marsh toes wriggle and churn
like burrowing worms
I’m casting cares to the calm west wind
foot stepping through soft soapy brine
white is the tideline marked with cloven hooves
a printed line made evident and foolproof
though the two-footed devil is cloven too
yet here are four steps a time and heaven
nearer than we imagine

Thoughts settle the way flies do
how unsettling all these ticklish diversions!
shunned and shunted with a pendulous swish of tail
for there the errant bull is grazing unawares
half hidden, face first in the willowy furze
whist I in this all-but-blinding light
have opened up my eyes to second sight

Note: As the poems progress the bull becomes more visible(!) and in my photoart I’m using a drawing courtesy of Arline Wagner – see her website for many more art prints

Third poem of the series interpreting the ten oxherding pictures of zen meditation – see Poetry Project: 10 bulls 
And I’m offering up these verses with others who are gathering today in the Poetry Pantry

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Author:

playing with photography @ eljaygee whilst Tell Tale Therapy has a weakness for words

27 thoughts on “3. First sight of the bull

  1. Laura what another fabulous poem in this series….the perfect image illustrating your amazingly detailed words creating images of this most elusive creature…..I love these words as they seem to resonate for me that first sighting, that first awakening that the world is a different place as we first get a glimpse….and the knowledge that he will remain elusive unless we are resolute in following our path to our truth.

    ‘I’m casting cares to the calm west wind
    foot stepping through soft soapy brine
    white is the tideline marked with cloven hooves
    a printed line made evident and foolproof’

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “with blotches of citrine light and shade
    shape-shifting into dappled hide of ox

    In the salt marsh toes wriggle and churn
    like burrowing worms”

    my favorite section

    Like

  3. opened up my eyes to second sight… that is the perfect line…when you scan the bush to find the animal, you learn to look again, through the colours… I think it’s also how I went back and read your poem again..beautifully done.

    Like

  4. In the salt marsh toes wriggle and churn
    like burrowing worms………………….. this line is so descriptive. Fantastic imagery painted through out. Certainly a great read, for me.

    Like

  5. An interesting project, Laura, and the poem sketches and fills and embellishes what emerges as “second sight” — something that comes from the work of seeing carefully. There’s an Etruscan elegance here, mythical and natural.

    Like

  6. Love the art you have chosen to accompany this exquisite poem! Yes, the bull truly springs out alive as we near the end especially love; “Thoughts settle the way flies do how unsettling all these ticklish diversions!” Beautifully rendered.

    Like

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