SIXTEEN OCCASIONAL POEMS
– BIBLICAL THEMES (shuffled like dreams)
Poem: Alasdair Gray © 2005
astride toy donkey, jaunty snake on head.
a jungle cave
their drunken dad in bed.
The prodigal returns to see – or become – what
Seems a small stiff baby in a glass case or cot.
Saint Francis, elephant masked, addresses two
dangerously huge white pigeons without seeing them,
beside lines suggesting King Herod and a bamboo shoot
without necessarily being them.
Sebastian, much punctured, between a branchless trunk
and two people who branch like trees,
is tied to them all by very thick snakes
in an air like black and white crumbling cheese.
Burning bush. In a frame of eyes Moses flees
like a small boy with a mad dog at his tail.
Crucifixion. Jesus skips off having detached
at least one penetrating nail.