This Herculean makeshift, hoisting your home

Ted Hugues, Three River Poems,Catadrome, Caddis,Visitation, Devon, Morrigu Press, 1981.


Struggledrudge—with the ideas of a crocodile

And the physique of a fœtus.


Absurd mudlark—living your hovel’s life—

Yourself your own worst obstacle.


Lugging Castle Paranoia

Through that moonland, like a train off its track,


Under the river’s hurricane.

You should have been a crab. It’s no good.


Trout in March are crammed

With the debris of your hopeful redoubts.


Wasp-face, orphanned and a waif too early,

Improvising—with inaudible war-cries—


This Herculean makeshift, hoisting your home,

You can nip my finger but


You are still a baby.

Your alfresco Samurai suit of straws


Your Nibelungen mail of agates, affirm

Only fantasies of fear and famine.


Hurry up. Join the love-orgy

Up here among leaves, in the pattering rain,


Under a flimsy tent of dusky wings.