Treasure Island

Henry Treece

(22 December 1911 – 10 June 1966 / Wednesbury, Staffordshire)

The Barriers


Between the muscle and the hammer-head,
The liquor and the veinous leaf it feeds;
Between the vision and the throne of God,
The promise and the stillborn shrouded words;

Between the hope that flies, the fear that dives,
The beak of hawk, the pretty breast of wren;
Between the husk that dries, the seed that thrives,
The line that flames, and that which leaves the pen,

Stand blood, its channel and the broken cross,
The bed unslept-in and the worn-down shoe,
The fruit of pity and the breast of Christ,
And all the bones kissed clean beneath the sea.

And would you say it even if you could,
Smash cage and let the weary words fly free?
Might that not let the tiger from the wood,
And madness ride across the morning sky?

Submitted: Saturday, April 28, 2012

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