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Pedantic Babylon

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The Minotaur

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The Wistman

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5c59d29b46e8f_Tondo_Minotaur_London_E4_MAN.jpg.5545645f4e630e8a13112cd2c77e6622.jpg

 

Once I saw a Minotaur

peeking through my bedroom door.

Then burst my most potent scream

I thought, however nothing more

I heard but hooves and breathy steam.

 

Now why would that be so?  How could

panic mute to hooves on wood,

constricting or convulsing that

defensive instinct of childhood

to vocalize alarm?  Combat

 

comes to children hard, it seems,

coalescing in bad dreams.

And something else, something quite sad

which every day my life redeems:

the bull-man wasn’t really bad.

 

                                             ---  TW

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The Wistman

Posted (edited)

This poem was inspired by a childhood fear of my uncle...who had emphysema...and who would check on me when we were staying at my aunt/uncle's house during my parents' frequent forays out of town.  He was not comely (he was sickly) and it was easy to paste my childhood anxieties over what was really his kindly competence as a baby sitter.  Later he would save my life, and I always regretted my early fear of him since it was so misplaced.  In the last line I have here turned the violent, negative symbol of the Minotaur on its head, to make a point about how we can make wrongful associations out of our own anxious fears.

Edited by The Wistman
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