Fred Beake: Ambiguous



Autumn is a gathering flame of cold

   and a sword is hung by a spider thread

over the neck of the maiden of England.

A dragon has entered the circle.

   Confusion of white, a little pink beyond.

Somewhere the beginning of a wind.

So mortal to confuse nothing with all.

   The dragon snuffs at the apples on the ground.

The web that holds the sword is intense with evil

or strength as you prefer. But where is the wind?

   The maiden who is ruddy-cheeked as an apple and cheeky

seems oddly unconcerned with the dragon's supple

   and scaly joints, to satisfy which she seems tethered

to the biggest apple tree of them all.

Possibly she is not aware of the sword.

  Perhaps it is a flicker of light after all.

We have only our eyes. There is nobody's word.

But on the face of it is so strange that she has ignored

  the dragon  completely. He ought to be feared.

Could it be that she cannot see him at all?