Image by Louise Dickinson-Brown
By Lewis Turco
We do not know whether the tales are true
nor, if they are, why he will not come down
out of the high slopes and the winter peaks
where he has lived, they say, since earth was new.
He is called Eldfather: The name bespeaks
ingle and hearth, perhaps, but he disdains
to take such comforts. So, from dawn to dimpse
he ranges his sterilities alone,
casting his shaggy glances to the plains
below the wind, taking nor giving rone.
And is he Adam, then, as some assume,
or Abel's line at least, rejecting Cain
with all his artifacts — the roaky skies
choking the murderous cities' palling doom
and piling scroil? Does he recall the lies
an uncle told, therefore seek out the screeve
of cloud along a ridge? It may be so.
And it may also be he is the beast
of solitude — merely that. Let him grieve
or joy and wander, coldly fast or feast
where blizzards rail and the planets hover.
Our crops are sown in blood upon the nover.
From an unpublished manuscript, A Book of Beasts, poems by Lewis Turco, illustrations by Louise Dickinson-Brown; the poems may be found in Fearful Pleasures: The Complete Poems of Lewis Turco 1959-2007, Scottsdale, AZ: www.StarCloudPress.com, 2007. ISBN 978-1-932842-19-7, cloth; ISBN 978-1-932842-20-3, paper. Also available in a Kindle edition.