They seemed to be enjoying the late afternoon sun, as those I could see all faced it most of the time. Their presence lent an odd sense of anticipation to the landscape, as though some formal event in which they were to take part was about to begin. But nothing happened. They remained for awhile, then one by one flew away, leaving me with the feeling that something was undone, that though the day would end it would remain somehow incomplete. I returned indoors, but the afternoon's sudden emptiness stayed in my mind. I feel it now, in the air arched over my roof. I wonder if nightfall will drive it away?
by R S Thomas
No one would know you had lived, but for my discovery of the anonymous undulation of your grave, like the early swelling of the belly of a woman who is with child. And if I entered it now, I would find your bones huddled together, but without flesh, their ruined architecture a reproach, the skull luminous but not with thought. Would it help us to learn what you were called in your forgotten language? Are not our jaws frail for the sustaining of the consonants' weight? Yet they were balanced on tongues like ours, echoed in the ears' passages, in intervals when the volcano was silent. How tenderly did the woman handle them, as she leaned her haired body to yours? Where are the instruments of your music, the pipe of hazel, the bull's horn, the interpreters of your loneliness on this ferocious planet? We are domesticating it slowly; but at times it rises against us, so that we see again the primeval shadows you built your fire amongst. We are cleverer than you; our nightmares are intellectual. But we never awaken from the compulsiveness of the mind's stare into the lenses' furious interiors.