Afagddu’s Declamation

Until death it shall be obscure –
Afagddu’s declamation
The Hostile Confederacy

I am bedraggled tonight, unwelcome,
the one taught to hang his head
in his mother’s court:

Utter Darkness, the Dark Son,
the Ugly One she wishes
utterly forgotten.

I carry no shield, spear, or sword.
The brushing of damp fur
on my thighs

unnerves the courtly women.
My hair hangs like ivies over
the face of a bridge,

disappears like rain into a dark adit.
They compare me to Sanddef
the angelic.

Wings tarred to my back, I am
the sea-bird abandoned
in the oil-slick.

I drag myself in with my shadow,
carping words in metres
they can’t name.

The slow swooshing of my feet
reminds them of wetsuits.
From my feathers

sadness drips like tears of oily rain.
When I shake myself off
like a wet dog

they flinch away from the globules.
Looking into my green eye
they are beholden.

With my reptilian beak I speak
of swallowing sorrow
like stones,

plummeting down to the deep
in search of lands
unpoisoned

by my mother’s toxic cauldron.
From the darkest places
I won my awen.

I cleared the blowholes of whales,
untangled sea turtles
from gillnets.

On islands of bottles, pill packets,
polystyrene, prosthetic limbs,
I laid out the dead.

I learnt to divine from the plastics
in the entrails of copepods,
euphausiids,

mussels, mackerel, jellyfish,
sea gulls who rattled
in flight.

From bottle caps and cotton bud sticks,
pieces of red, green, blue, yellow
Lego bricks,

an alphabet of magnetic letters
stuck to a sunken fridge
I read the future.

Of course they were upside down,
back to front, in another
language.

I was forced to turn myself inside out
like a rabbit unskinning
to decipher it.

I’m still not sure whose future
I brought back in
my pockets.

I empty them out and letters writhe
like sea worms spelling
an inky fate

to the chant of plastic-eating bacteria:
Ideonella sakaiensi I gathered
from the deep.

The courtiers draw back their chairs,
weapons aglinting,
curse me.

I am but the messenger – the angelus.
Nevertheless they take aim.
A terrible poetry

of microbeads spills from my belly
as I fly up like a fury
to declaim…

Cormorant_(Phalacrocorax_carbo)_(17)

5 thoughts on “Afagddu’s Declamation

  1. Greg says:

    The way you have condensed a powerful series of images and contained them rhythmically in these three-line stanzas is impressive and creates an intensity befitting the subject: Afagddu’s cry from the deep.

    The final touch of the Morfran pic rounds it off nicely!

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