Byron’s Spirit at Newstead

by Janet Gell Thompson

24th May 2020

Old abbey walls
were calling
the day you startled me
your garden gleamed
golden – green
a sap – fat tree to lie beneath
vodka bottled red
with raspberries
half full

this bristling, fraught, frenetic thing
with twitching feather deck
eyeing me
in menaced sentience
“I smell, I hear, I see!”

The glowing grass
flicks out flies
in slit – green luminescence
where waters rise reptilian
but yours a different hunger
slick in sweet deceit
afraid yet drawn
to raw febrility
I freeze
although I want to run
like all humanity
by blind hypocrisy
afraid to rebel
for freedom’s sake
wings clipped
to flee in awkward flight
no penitent
you choose to fight
with fellows in oppression
a just yet foreign war.

I don’t remember if I woke
or slept
a woozy dreamer
yet puzzle still
that in my hair
I found
a peacock green
tail feather.