About the poet
Peter Scupham (b. 1933) is a poet of formal distinction with a particular fascination for...
I am plural. My intents are manifold:
I see through many eyes. I am fabulous.
I assimilate the suffering of monkeys:
Tiger and musk-ox are at my disposal.
My ritual is to swallow a pale meat
Prepared by my ignorant left hand.
It is my child's play to untie a frog,
Humble further the worm and dogfish.
When I comb the slow pond,
I shake out a scurf of tarnished silver;
When I steer the long ship to the stones,
A brown sickness laps at the cliff's foot.
Shreds of fur cling to my metalled roads,
Old plasters seeping a little blood.
I dress and powder the wide fields:
They undergo my purgatorial fires.
Come with me. I will shake the sky
And watch the ripe birds tumble.
It requires many deaths to ease
The deep cancer in my marrowbones.
I have prepared a stone inheritance.
It flourishes beneath my fertile tears.
from Night Watch (Anvil, 1999), copyright © Peter Scupham 1999, used by permission of the author
Peter Scupham Reading from his poems