Tuesday, April 10, 2007

st george & the dragon (a statue)

fighting dragons naked
is risky
st george buffed & barefoot
in roman helmet & flowing cape
leans cruel
over his prey

one strange sartorial english patron saint
this roman soldier they say
fought diocletian's torture bravely
(beheaded in 303) and he
probably never set a foot on
flat-topped dragon hill, uffington
berkshire where the legend emerged
(circa 12th century)
nor even 'mother' england

(no grass grows where
dragon's blood is spilled)

whose bucephalus stallion
now straddles boehm's beast
in australia
baring his tender belly to what's below

the dragon crocodillus
pieced with adder head
& agonised
bites dumb on the 20ft spear
sunk into its shoulder
a cheated & hurt
animal confusion
like a cat
hit by a car

no goosebumps here
perhaps a heatwave and george
just tossed his jerkin off

then suddenly, a dragon,
a baby one surely?
...a dragon just smaller than him -
a patchwork beast dreamed
from dinosaur
bones left on a beach
claws clinging wound round a plinth
tail spilling over

why didn't it just burn naked george?
fricassee his horse?
make him wish he hadn't worn a