A Minotaur

Minotaur II 2005
Oil on canvas, 101 x 76cm
Paul Reid

A minotaur is sitting on a stool,
Slumped, by the weight of his bull skull and brain,
In which his eyes are sumps, a stagnant pool,
And weary at the wit’s end of the day,
As, on the wall, embossed for ring and chain,
A sunset stains the labyrinth's red clay.

He looks like Cocteau's Bête, too grand to graze,
Although, in truth, a less romantic bull,
And who has chased a maiden through the maze,
The moss and puddles of his stony grove,
To be exhausted by the beautiful,
A sadness that is sex and isn't love.

Or like Picasso, his hair as white as veal,
Sipping Pastis in the Provençal sun,
Once he had set a canvas to congeal,
Who knew that, for a work to be of worth,
An immanence on sale to anyone,
An artist must be animal and earth.

The minotaur will stare at the black night,
On a strong bed of cedar slats and straw,
Thinking his horns are like a star’s blinked light,
And, in his sleep, a spider’s womb will spin
A single thread of moonlight’s silver ore
To lead him from his labyrinth of skin.

Andrew Staniland (2009)


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