Feb 4. Disappointment

For nine days they struggled
sometimes hungrysometimes fed
often they were thirsty
always thirsty

In the harshness of the winds
they sought the sun
his stars had been favourable
his ponderings jerked off into dreams

My throat was bleeding from over-smoking
amongst hummocks of ice
that looked like tombstones to me
I hope we don’t sink during the night

The uncivilised brain is confused
by the civilised
his guns and rifles were to them
a sore temptation

under a drift of snow

[after Violet Clifton, The Book of Talbot (1933)]

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