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A Pretty Device of the Fathers

ISSUE:  Autumn 1958

A dagger (whose bone haft the iceberg locks)
Prime diamond in the nights of polar cold:
Sharpened by shamans haloed in white fox,
Their faces bland (obols of scythian gold)—
Butt fused in ice: the uncanny tool upstanding
Whetted so fine it sang in the least wind,
A glamor the grey lopers took to haunting,
Each eye a prickle of fire: wolves winter-thinned

Pad furry-eyed, tongues hankering for that bangle
(Bobbing like censers to the illustrious vault) ;
One runs a tongue along the edge: a tingle
Teases him, warm and sticky, thrilling of salt.
Delirious attar of life! How rapt a glare
Glues them in furry carnage, sweet fangs bare.


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