I am working from home today, and just when the research got heavy, I turned to a book of poems. Came across two poems. At first glance, they seem to have nothing in common – one is of the season of remnants, Autumn, and the other is about a donkey – an animal on the fringe of literary or artistic work. But, a little below their surfaces are plaintive songs of residual heartache.
Autumn by Walter De La Mare
There is a wind where the rose was;
Cold rain where sweet grass was;
And clouds like sheep
Stream o’er the steep
Grey skies where the lark was.
Nought gold where your hair was;
Nought warm where your hand was;
But phantom, forlorn,
Beneath the thorn,
Your ghost where your face was.
Sad winds where your voice was;
Tears, tears where my heart was;
And ever with me,
Child, ever with me,
Silence where hope was.
The Donkey by G.K.Chesterton
When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born;
With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.
The tatter’d outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scrounge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.
Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.