NaPoWriMo 2015.1: “Sat Like a Cormorant, Yet Not”
“Thence up he flew, and on the Tree of Life, The middle tree and highest there that grew, Sat like a Cormorant; yet not true life Thereby regained, but sat devising death To them who lived; nor on the virtue thought Of that life-giving plant, but only used For prospect what, well used, had been the pledge Of immortality. “
It’s that time again: NaPoWriMo. When I pretend I won’t do all the prompts and, instead, write four poems a day if I get behind. (But it turns out, I really enjoy writing poems – so it’s fine. Don’t worry yourself.)
So to business: a poem of negation. I found myself (as I did at the start of NaPoWriMo the year before last, curiously) in Cardiff, at the Museum. Having thought I might write about their photography exhibition (and at some point, I will write something about the tornadoes that struck South Wales in 1913, which were depicted therein) I was walking past the Natural History Galleries and saw the chap above, wings outspread…and so…
“Sat Like a Cormorant; Yet Not”
I am not the ragged fabric that hangs from pirate booms. I am not the devil in any disguise; why would these feathers be costume?
I am the portent of Nothing but this gunmetal sea; the harbinger of Nothing and nobody’s prophecy.
I am no red-breasted festive greeting to some lost friend. My neck is not the elegant waved S of the swan, my wings a continent, an eon from the wall-mounted mallard.
I will not look directly at you nor deny the dark hook of my eyes. I will not stand for the cliff-wall epitaph, for the black clouds etched on your skies.