Poem Hunter
Dyes Cast
(22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)

Dyes Cast

Each night
As he drops his head
To the deep dream
Of the dark bed,
A shape beckons him
From the starlight
And the dim day.

A mare
Black as a spade, calls
From the dark hill
As the wind falls,
The reeds mutter
The night is black
As he leaps blind
To the mare’s back.

Then like the roar
Of an ill wind
Or a black flame
From the devil’s kiln,
The mare speeds
To the night’s work
By the old mill
And the dark Kirk.

Shapes flutter
And leap alight
Before they sputter
And, out of sight
Disport and mutter
Of black arts
To see the mare
And the rider pass.

Hour on hour
He clings to scenes
Of dark images,
Wild dreams
And chance friends
From the dead past
In the grim haunts
Of dyes cast.

His face burns
And tears stream
In the long night
Of the dark dream,
He clings grim
To the mare’s back
For his soul’s sake
And a long lack.

The day brinks
At night’s mist;
‘There may be nothing
More than this, ’
The mare fades
From his wide eyes –
But the thoughts bide,
And the old lies.

‘There may be nothing
More than this! ’
And his mind seeks
The mare, the mist;
‘There may be nought
But the dead past,
And the dark haunts
Of dyes cast.’

27 December 1978

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