(Roxanne daydreams on Crete.)
There, that island crouched down
ready to pounce on the blue Mediterranean
bull, raising salt-dust off Crete with its stampede
of breakers; that’s a granite panther of some kind.
Not the Eastern winged variety that hovered like an
engorged dragonfly over Babylon’s Hanging Gardens –
but wingless, as in the carved reliefs that stalked across
the Parthenon’s archaic pediment. No, not the new
monument raised by Pericles to Pallas Athena either –
the earlier one, Geometric period frescoed with giants,
harpies, tritons, snakes, deer, lions, bulls & of course
You can see the big cat’s muscle tone clearly;
the sun-dial snout pointed, a flick of bluff ear,
ridge of terracotta neck, burial mound of shoulder,
terraced spine jagged as a grave stele, haunches (inc. paws,
knees & ankles) anchor strong. A proverbial 1970s
Bridgestone Cat as a single promontory of claw
extends down to a bay’s water dish.
This manx of the Minoan imagination.
Formless now, occupied by a litter
of blind poets mewling to be fed.