28 May 2009

Feasting With Panthers -- Ian Saw


Lord Alfred Douglas: Why do you do it Oscar? Why do you associate with such men? It must be like feasting with panthers.

Oscar Wilde: Precisely, dear boy!

They smile across the table, twitch their tails
You wonder at how sleek they are, and slim.
You touch the carver to your mortal thigh
And pass the salt and pepper pots to them.

You take another draught of burgundy
And do not feel the rasp of blade on bone.
Your eyes are as a cornered doe’s that glaze
Against the spectre of its martyrdom.

The are satin-bright; so midnight blue;
So brother-lovely in their crouching pose;
So fiercely grateful for the gift you gave;
So rigidly alert for what you’ll give.

How could your flesh deny them what they crave?
How could your soul belie such brotherhood?
The lust that lopes through their unfearing blood.
The fear that makes your passion what it is.

So carve another slice of genius-meat;
Slice after slice, and give yourself to them
Until the knife reveals your pulsing heart
They pounce –
The cell in Reading Goal begins to spin.

Source: Saw, I 1993, The sailor on the point of going overboard, Five Islands Press.

1 comment:

  1. Love the poem - Ian's own unique style also seen in Sailor Overboard.