Below is a fine new poem by Jane Burn. But first, an advert! Not for the purposes of making a profit, but in order to promote cultural democracy. Jane is running a series of free - yes, free - creative writing workshops at the Baltic Centre in Gateshead, see here. Sign up soon, before they all fill up!
Bucephalus on a B Road
by Jane Burn
Each bone set where it ought to be, every muscle limbered lithe
upon them, set just right. My hocks are good – uncowed, uncapped,
my cannons free of splints. I was born beneath a star, shaped
upon my hard and handsome brow. The driver has trusted their life
to the reins – the slender veins passed from hand to mouth. I feel
every one of their thoughts – the word that speaks loudest along
these leather lines is fast. I do not feel the harness, fine as thread,
nor the sulky strung behind – nothing but seat and two spindle wheels
hold them safe from the blur beneath. My toes spark a constellation
from the tarmac, scar its throat with moons. There is lightning
on the glass of my skin, sun on the lick of my mane. I carry the driver
past the faces that peer from their tame cars like stunned moons –
I ask them, did you ever fly like we fly, far above this dull and blunted world?
I will stop when my lungs can own no more breath, for I was built
to be a running thing. The driver clings on, squinting flick-knife air.
They will not forget how I bore them into myth. We will break
the horizon with the brilliance of our speed.
Bucephalus was Alexander the Great's horse and is considered by some to be the most famous horse in history. Commons image: Ruthven/Wikipedia