Posted in poetry project

4. Catching the bull

search_bull3_enlightenment
“Strong of body and spirit, he is not easily subdued.
At times, he scales the lofty plains,
Then hides deep within the cloud-like mist.

As certainties slip from the grasp
cloudland lifts its top  and cuckoos flee
across contours, through half-closed lids the eyes compose
deft as any painter of landscapes
green wash of watercolour
pencilling where craggy heights give way to forest
darker furze slip slide into angular fields
pastures paddle as water meadows
at the horizontal, a sudden halt
willow borderlines wafting snowflake
seeds of late summer

persistent is the canty cloud of flies
pestering the peace
deep in these distractions, a distinct swish of tail
and sudden shape-shifting tremor
the wild bull at bay in its own petrified gaze
foam-flecked feelings ripple up through vellum
sinews singled out with a hidebound resistance
somewhere between tensile rope and whip
I must muster just enough cunning for the capture

Fourth 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

25 thoughts on “4. Catching the bull

  1. Series like these allow the eye and ear to shift and sift from one or forty or two hundred degrees one way or other in the compass, finding the inner true north. Anyway, there was such a gauzy immersion here, so that we do not encounter the speaker til the final line. Reminds me what Robert Bly once said about dreams — use them only in the ends of poems. Fine stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. interesting doing this series not least because the Muse presents very different styles each time a- it would ruin the whole if I imposed a template on each stage as the whole point of the ten bulls is developmental

      “gauzy immersion” is just perfect!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ” through half-closed lids the eyes compose
    deft as any painter of landscapes” Love, love, love! How reluctantly the narrator adjusts focus to the reality of the bull! How perfect the parallel between what he and the narrator are liminally occupied with.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel like I am coming in at the mid-point of a movie here and, thus, cannot truly appreciate this poem as much as it deserves to be appreciated. I commend you for following through on a series though..it takes dedication, persistence, AND talent to do so!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m reading your poem as the viewer of art in contemplation, i like how the eye moves from beginning to end of the poem. i particularly like the setting at the beginning. i would call this a good ekphrastic poem.
    “As certainties slip from the grasp
    cloudland lifts its top and cuckoos flee
    across contours, through half-closed lids the eyes compose
    deft as any painter of landscapes”

    much love…

    Like

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