Tuesday, 17 October 2017

the bull dancers: (edit 2)

The minotaur and Minos, the king, the servant,
the beast, none moreso, none the least,
the father, the son, the unholy ravager,
unspeakable trinity, fearful the side they hide
be seen by an innocent eye —
how can a good man be bad (and if the king, who else) ?

Then there are the bull dancers, daughters —
caught within — in the intimate ritual,
hidden from humanity, especially from the mothers
(do mothers remember their own time in the maze?).

Labyrinth nights, darkness encloses,
deep-sea tentacles attach and drag dancers
down to the sea-bed in a tangle they cannot evade;
sleep as a means to escape — hear
all manner of things that move inside
the room, and out,
little noises expand into terror, known bumps
and scratches at the window twist into noises
brimming with sinister intent; finally, as the dancer
falls asleep, the bedroom door creeps open
and the parent in the daytime enters as the beast.

The minotaur’s fate remains with us,
we remember Theseus, the hero, even recall Icarus
and Daedalus, who constructed the maze,
but the bull dancers who danced across
the horns, do we remember the innocents at all —

and if we do, we do so
for only a moment or two,
too determined to remain in sunlight
and not recall the maze in the night
when the beast calls listening fathers.

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