The Saturday poem: The Circling Stars from the Anglo-Saxon
By Paul Farley
Five dozen reached the brink and pulled
their horses up (eleven spectrals,
four luminous whites). They'd trained for weeks
and were green to go, but this channel was tricky:
the swell a bastard, waves lit with foam,
the current strong. So the whole outfit
got scooped into a wagon, and under
the cosmic axle grease they rode, both
tooled-up man and horse, over
the waste to solid ground. No ox,
dray horse or slave sweat drew this wagon.
This was no sea or land haulage.
No feet got wet, all stayed airborne,
and there was no winding back, but by
degrees the wagon bore its load
from pick-up point to mount the shore
one the other side: so this brave squad crossed
the deeps and landed safely home.