Today's poem is by Kathleen Jamie

In Praise of Aphrodite
(after Marina Tsvetayeva)

These are wicked days. The very gods,
brought low, fold their wings
like gulls or cushie-doos

white and rain-grey. No honeyed quaich
transforms your sweat;
your low mouth's crowded

where kingdoms flutter,
stoop, take sup from your hands,
your breasts rounded as clouds.

Every flower of the cliff,
saxifrage, thrift, witch-wife:
shows your face. Your body of stone

rising, always rising armless
from the foam, whence we crawl
through salt, sweat, the white spume.

Copyright © 2002 Kathleen Jamie All rights reserved
from Mr and Mrs Scotland are Dead
Bloodaxe Books Ltd. / Dufour Editions
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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