Us He Devours by Ted Hughes

From Wolfwatching

Added 7 October 2006

Us He Devours

The long Shrine of hunger. Window spectra
Bleak on the retina. It is the hunger
Humbles the eye-beam.

The slime's Great Orme. Stranded, immense Mollusk!
A carapace of stone, cruciform,
Sculpted, as are all God's creatures, by hunger.

Gill-arches high and dry-
It filters
The breath off the water's face, the salt airs.

Casualty of a peculiar cry:
Eloi Eloi
Which is the only sound it ever utters.

That near-fatal cry alone sustains it.

Calling to the eye of the mind
A lost orphan Lamb
For whom the mouth is a wound.

The spiral nebulae that have turned
Into howlings and gnashings.
And the tiny bird of January

Who flees tap-tapping at every bud in the orchard
With such anguish, such foregone despair
It finds nothing, or barely enough

To keep it alive to its pang and that echoing
Immanence of famine.
The four-inch triangle

Of imperishable artefact that furnished
The gape of Megalodon
Carcharadon in the first seas.

The insupportable sun. A gargoyle
(Empty gullet, condemned in stone,
Gulping at the elixirs of damnation)

To which lichens of Gothic adhere lightly.