Thistles

Against the rubber tongues of cows and the hoeing hands of men

Thistles spike the summer air

And crackle open under a blue-black pressure.

Every one a revengeful burst

Of resurrection, a grasped fistful

Of splintered weapons and Icelandic frost thrust up

From the underground stain of a decayed Viking

They are like pale hair and the gutturals of dialects.

Every one manages a plume of blood.

Then they grow grey like men.

Mown down, it is a feud. Their sons appear

Stiff with weapons, fighting back over the same ground.

Thistles are everywhere in summer and are often seen as a nuisance. As Ted Hughes makes clear, they are armoured, have been around for quite a while, and can be hard to get shot of. They are also beautiful, and very good for butterflies and moths.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s