Brian Wake (Liverpool)
LEADING THE BLIND
Blind himself, so Samson’s dog made absolutely no concession
to the dark, but would cross, and bark, the river on a bridge of crocodiles
with neither he nor they aware that either he or they were there.
Without him I’d be lost, said Samson to a passing slave, without him
there would be no morning walks along the mountain paths, no respite
from my infinite regret, or time to contemplate how those I loved continue
now to live out their existences in harmony with everything but me.
But how can he, thought Samson’s dog, think that, who never moves
except to tread a deep and deeper groove, and every day, around
the millwheel? How can he believe that all we have encountered on our walks
is something like a tragic sense of life carved out of stone, his imperfections
written in the way a desert sand is accidentally blown by quite indifferent wind?
I dream, thought Samson’s dog, not of the ecstasy of human kind’s impression
of itself, or about the simultaneous ripening and rotting of the human mind,
but of the equal deaths of emperors, birds, beasts and slaves. I imagine Samson
dying on his shackled feet, and, on our daily round, will sniff the ground
for any whiff of graves, for recent burials, for royal or peasant bones
decaying yet still good enough to eat.
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