Thistles, by Ted Hughes

14 February 2012

Against the rubber tongues of cows and the hoeing hands of men
Thistles spike the summer air
And crackle open under a blue-black pressure.Every one a revengeful burst
Of resurrection, a grasphed fistful
Of splintered weapons and Icelandic frost thrust up

From the underground stain of a decayed Viking.
They are like pale hair and the gutturals of dialects.
Every one manages a plume of blood.

Then they grow grey like men.
Mown down, it is a feud. Their sons appear
Stiff with weapons, fighting back over the same ground.

[Ripped from famouspoetsandpoems.com; read in Poems selected by Simon ArmitageFaber & Faber.]
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