R.S. Thomas: “Raptor”

by Kim on August 8, 2010

You have made God small,
setting him astride
a pipette or a retort
studying the bubbles,
absorbed in an experiment
that will come to nothing.

I think of him rather
as an enormous owl
abroad in the shadows,
brushing me sometimes
with his wing so the blood
in my veins freezes, able

to find his way from one
soul to another because
he can see in the dark.
I have heard him crooning
to himself, so that almost
I could believe in angels,

those feathered overtones
in love’s rafters, I have heard
him scream, too, fastening
his talons in his great
adversary, or in some lesser
denizen, maybe, like you or me.

In R.S. Thomas, No Truce with the Furies (Newcastle upon Tyne: Bloodaxe Books, 1995), p. 52.

[Vintage Thomas: the birdwatcher, the dissector of the scientist's dissections, the poet not only of the hidden God but the predatory God, the God of feral love.]

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