Once Below A Time – Dylan Thomas

Once below a time,

When my pinned-around-the-spirit

Cut-to-measure flesh bit,

Suit for a serial sum

On the first of each hardship,

My paid-for slaved-for own too late

In love torn breeches and blistered jacket

On the snapping rims of the ashpit,

In grottoes I worked with birds,

Spiked with a mastiff collar,

Tasselled in cellar and snipping shop

Or decked on a cloud swallower,
Then swift from a bursting sea with bottlecork boats

And out-of-perspective sailors,

In common clay clothes disguised as scales,

As a he-god’s paddling water skirts,

I astounded the sitting tailors,

I set back the clock faced tailors,

Then, bushily swanked in bear wig and tails,

Hopping hot leaved and feathered

From the kangaroo foot of the earth,

From the chill, silent centre

Trailing the frost bitten cloth,

Up through the lubber crust of Wales

I rocketed to astonish

The flashing needle rock of squatters,

The criers of Shabby and Shorten,

The famous stitch droppers.

My silly suit, hardly yet suffered for,

Around some coffin carrying

Birdman or told ghost I hung.

And the owl hood, the heel hider,

Claw fold and hole for the rotten

Head, deceived, I believed, my maker,
The cloud perched tailors’ master with nerves for cotton.

On the old seas from stories, thrashing my wings,

Combing with antlers, Columbus on fire,

I was pierced by the idol tailor’s eyes,

Glared through shark mask and navigating head,

Cold Nansen’s beak on a boat full of gongs,
To the boy of common thread,

The bright pretender, the ridiculous sea dandy

With dry flesh and earth for adorning and bed.

It was sweet to drown in the readymade handy water

With my cherry capped dangler green as seaweed

Summoning a child’s voice from a webfoot stone,

Never never oh never to regret the bugle I wore

On my cleaving arm as I blasted in a wave.

Now shown and mostly bare I would lie down,

Lie down, lie down and live

As quiet as a bone. 

On the Marriage of a Virgin – Dylan Thomas

Waking alone in a multitude of loves when morning’s light

Surprised in the opening of her nightlong eyes

His golden yesterday asleep upon the iris

And this day’s sun leapt up the sky out of her thighs

Was miraculous virginity old as loaves and fishes,

Though the moment of a miracle is unending lightning

And the shipyards of Galilee’s footprints hide a navy of doves.
No longer will the vibrations of the sun desire on

Her deepsea pillow where once she married alone,

Her heart all ears and eyes, lips catching the avalanche

Of the golden ghost who ringed with his streams her mercury bone,

Who under the lids of her windows hoisted his golden luggage,

For a man sleeps where fire leapt down and she learns through his arm

That other sun, the jealous coursing of the unrivalled blood.