The Dead Horse

                                    (for John and Gilles)

by Gerard Donnelly Smith


November 1, 2004   


That dead, stinking horse does know that it is dead,
hopelessly mired in hourglass sand: blue blood, red blood
thick as oil seeping down, guzzling down.
But where's the dead-horse rider, still riding as if nothing transpired,
as if no warnings signs existed as plain as a blue blood
standing in the middle-of-the-stream in wide-eyed rapture,
there floating beside him the dead and stinking horse,
buzzing round the corpse a spontaneous generation:
flies, flies, flies and even more flies: as redundant as
falsehoods once the full truth and nothing but is known.
Still, the dead horse sweats, steam rising from that wreck-of-flesh,
while from the corner of the rider's mouth, spittle drools.
The stream-bed is dry; the horse's tongue is bloated and swollen.
The stars in the desert sky sparkle, twinkle
in the dead-horse rider's eyes, while the cavalry
searches the empty tombs, the dumps and storage depots
for some arc-of-the-covenant, some proof-for-the-people
that the call-from-beyond was more than voices inside his empty skull.

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Poetry on Swans

US Elections & Democracy on Swans


Gerard Donnelly Smith on Swans (with bio).

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Published November 1, 2004
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