The Boar - Poem by Sheena Blackhall
Ceridwin's sacred beast, bricked into his brute quarters,
Pound for pound today is a saleable commodity.
This mediaeval master of the hunt,
This short-arsed Celtic warrior
Shrieking like a carnyx, pads across the straw
On tiptoe cloven trotters, pauses, roots and grubs.
Criss-crossing his twilight pen,
He tries again and again to gore the worm-holed rafters,
Holding up the tin roof of his den,
Woven with spiders' pentagons and squares.
Ringed with cerulean blue,
His eyes are two round circles filled with night,
Queerly, they peer from the sides of the reedy face
Like clouds concealing fickle, thundery weather
His ancestor, when cornered in the hunt,
Could rip a huntsman's belly with one tusk.
He challenges and snorts, this war-pig
Spears of bristles rising on his back.
A nimble tank on trotters,
Hot's a hairy tub of red Satanic cinders.
His sudden anger is a falling star.
I am weighed in the scales of battle and found wanting.
Turning his screwed-up tail towards my face
He flaunts his dribbling bottom, pursed like a sour crone's mouth.
Jiggling between two hams, his balls are breakfast rolls.
For a time he settles, slumped in a corner, mouthing creamy spittle.
His blue-veined ears, as white as mouldy cheese,
Twitch on the heavy lard-tub of his head.
His water-trough is ringed by trampled straw
Gold as a fallen torc, facing a pool of pee
Eye-wateringly strong, that scours the nose.
Smells breach the twitching funnels of his snout
Mobile and moist his urgent nostrils clench, unclench,
Suck in the dim pen's stench of straw, dust, dung,
The rosebuds of his world.
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