The first bomb

                    by Brian Vrepont (1941)

At the burst of the first sky-bomb
On the city, the god leapt out of me
Screaming with impotence;
Afterwards, dumb and warmly dead,
He stood in the new ruins gazing at a head,
A head, a head, a spring-time head.
I reminded him we had not dined;
Obediently he came back into his cage,
And I dined and wined in a safe place―
In a safe, safe place.
The meal was not a success,
The food too succulently tender,
The wine a million reds too red,
I felt his cold indifference
To else except the door―
The door, the unclosable door
Through which rolled presently a head,
A head, a head, a spring-time head,
And I vomited.

Since then I have been wandering
Looking for him.
He is not in his usual haunts
Of music, wind, sun, grass or
The hilarity of tingling wine
Nor sober words; nowhere is he
Where unbombed gods foregathered,
Where fanged frenzy long had ceased to be
Good company.

For months now
There has been a steady rain of bombs,
And many, many heads,
And I am quite accustomed
To being dead yet full aware;
A strange feeling, a hell of emptiness
Without one's god.
Perhaps he―he may be dead,
But I feel he living waits,
Waits, waits like a god, waits
Deep in the secret sanctuary of the universe,
In a safe place safe
From bombs
And restless spring-time heads

                                         Brian Vrepont (1941)
 

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