Spender, Richard - Laughing Blood - from Spring Flood
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
from A Spring Flood
Tonight the River is mad.
I think that she has drunk-
Drunk deep of the pale green fire
That the nettles knelt to offer
On the island by the alder bush.
I saw the bowl, and the yellow fleck
I saw the River drinking
(While the Sun hid his head).
I saw her lonely eyes - like glass -
As the lost soul of a murderer
Looks in through the hangman's eye.
I saw her gentle eyes,
Her water-blue and sunbeam go;den eyes,
They twisted and they narrowed,
They struck sideways out.
Her voice was like a tortured conscience.
It nagged the staunchness of the brick bridge pile.
And the phlegm -
And the yellow fleck of froth -
Stuck with the green flame scum
Like a corpse clogged and seeping
In her swan-bird's throat.
Here is cold light, hard and sinister,
A frenzied light of neither Sun nor Moon.
The light of steel flashing
As it sings into a body
Is not so cruelly cold as this.
In its chill ring
Snakes move in coil and curve;
They lie like tendrils on her brow;
The light passes caressing fingers
Down the glistening facets of the scales
As the muscles pulse and gather.
It is her eyes that stare at me.
I am a murdered lover.
It is her eyes that sink in me
And drag me down toward the water....................