Gwen Harwood (8 June 1920 – 4 December 1995 / Taringa, Queensland)
The snails brush silver. Critic crow
points his unpleasant beak, and lances.
Resumes his treetop, darts below
his acid-bright, corrosive glances.
In the hushed corridors of sleep
Professor Eisenbart plots treason.
Caretaker mind prepares to sweep
the dusty offices of reason.
Eisenbart mutters, wakes in rage
Because crow’s jarring c-a-a-r-k-s distress him.
His mistress grins, refers to age
and other matters which oppress him.
He scowls purse-lipped. She yawns, and throws
Her arms in scarecrow crucifixion.
Clear of the hills, light’s wafer shows
In world-without-end benediction.
She makes him tea. He sips and calms
His Royal Academic temper,
While Life and Day outside shout psalms
In antiphon ... Et nunc et semper.
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