Arthur Before

Somme-battlefield-007        “And thus the land of Cameliard was waste,
Thick with wet woods, and many a beast therein,
And none or few to scare or chase the beast;
So that wild dog, and wolf and boar and bear
Came night and day, and rooted in the fields.”
From “The Coming of Arthur”
Lord Alfred Tennyson

There is no gentle wildness
In the land of wolf-like men.
There is no—
Wait, can you smell that?
Bitter as pokeberry
Tasting like mean vowels
The scent of a snarl

This land is not for man
Nor beast.

Are you hearing with your eyes?
Stop looking.
Close your mouth if need be.

Do you feel the wiry fur?
Smell the masticated flesh
As your fingers slip
Down the yellowed fangs?

Taste the ocean in the soft
Pink shell of the ear?
What is wild?

Wait . . .
Wait for the answer.
Now.
Now you may come
To your land.

–Shaun Perkins

2 thoughts on “Arthur Before

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