Gift horse

Bought my ticket

Bet on you

Wild lathered sprint

You were noble

Your nostrils flaring

To take in more air

I’ve never been lucky

Another horse won

You grew embittered

One day without cause

You went lame

Standing in your stable

Ignoring my entreaty

You could have been a prize winner

I expect you thought

Watching younger horses groomed for their chance

You had more fury than a church and none of the peace

When I lit a candle I prayed

You’d run away in the night

And I would be spared your decline

Into the caustic rough

A shadow of your former self

I remember when you started out

I didn’t look closely at your teeth

Grateful for the moment

Until time became an enemy

Your eyes hard like marbles

And if you’d really been a horse

You’d have thrown me

Intent on breaking



19 thoughts on “Gift horse

  1. I learned recently about how miraculous empty space is. It is the pupil of the eye that allows light to give us consciousness of the world … the Native American dream catcher has the same design…

  2. What to tell such a horse? Only one thing comes to mind; “Do not go gentle into that goodnight. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” [Dylan Thomas]

  3. I enjoyed this line in particular: “You had more fury than a church and none of the peace.” Such a powerful statement! It gave such deep insight into his/her state of mind, and pent-up, restless anger.

  4. Well, that one is high up there, but all time favorite – hard question – I think, partly because I’ve carried it in mind so long, it must be:

    ‘Over the Mountains
    Of the Moon,
    Down the Valley of the Shadow,
    Ride, boldly ride,’
    The shade replied,—
    ‘If you seek for Eldorado!’

    Other than nursery rhymes and one in particular by Ogden Nash (which was included in a book of nursery rhymes along with “The Owl And The Pussycat” by Edward Lear), “The Tale Of Custard The Dragon”., Poe was my first poet. When assigned to read aloud a poem in 6th Grade, I did Poe’s “The Bells”. They didn’t get it.

    A runner up of more recent acquaintance, actually two verses is from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    “O happy living things! no tongue
    Their beauty might declare:
    A spring of love gushed from my heart,
    And I blessed them unaware:
    Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
    And I blessed them unaware.

    The self-same moment I could pray;
    And from my neck so free
    The Albatross fell off, and sank
    Like lead into the sea. “

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