So, into the choppy waves of inspiration, good old Total Feckin Eejit threw his bright, bobbing challenge; to absorb a couple of poems by Ted Hughes - namely The Thought-Fox and The Horses - and see where that might lead.
I thought this could be a tricky one. Hughes's works are a bit of a touchstone for me - I'm a sucker for all that elemental, pagan countryboy schtick - so this felt just a bit close to the bone. Often, those inspirations closest to your heart can provide very little in the way of actual stepping-off points - bringing as they do a certain 'frozen in the headlights' effect. Lamped by your likings, as it were.
However, the particular bea(s)ts in these poems felt very familiar, in many ways - before long I had a line, which bubbled and simmered for a few days, before spilling over into my notebook. So here's my response to TFE's prompt - you''ll find plenty more respondents via the comments on his blog post.
I see my youngest son lay down his head
upon our dozing hound and close his eyes
and I look on and know that kind of comfort
those several warmths of breathing ribs and what they bring
slipping among species, slow and sympathetic
within shared sureties - life's broadest senses
For now we’ll close the midden from our minds
ruffle the drum of a resting torso, settle
into one more slipped Sunday - supplemental
seeking wrestled down - no family tripping in breathable hides
Recall instead houndstooth tweed - born wiry,
unforgiving to young fingertips, later worn smooth
from the workings of a man, drowsing in his familiar chair
diaphragm at rest - yet never resting - until starting unexpectedly
awake in another place entirely, another kind of reverie
rousted by no drumroll
© P Nolan 2009
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