The Cow
The Cow

There’s a white cow standing upon the hill,
surely the whitest cow I shall ever see.
As usual with cows she is eating grass.
Nothing strange about that, except that the light,
the white light of the sun increases her white
until she seems like a moon reflecting the sun,
a cow-shaped moon newly materialized
to dazzle upon the rise of a grassy hill.
Perhaps she is the cow that jumped over the moon,
but how much grass can she nonchalantly bite
with that white light breaking upon her body?
O, now she raises her head and, striking a pose,
commands the field with a curve of her delicate tail.
And so I see that she has become a goddess
exacting and appreciating the homage
owed to a white spirit by darker creatures.
Those dull cows browsing in brown below her,
mere cows, I see that they cannot comprehend
how their appearance enhances the white goddess.
And yet their heads are lowered in due respect.
She is their deity as she is mine,
although I see her only from my distance.
I see her only through my grimy window.
Suppose I left my papers and left my desk,
walked through the garden, crossed the old stone wall,
slogged through the swamp at the bottom of the hill,
then with lowered eyes I could approach that whiteness.
Would I be touched to some extent by the sunlight,
and would my eyes be blinded with revelation?
Or would I find cow dung beneath my feet
and would she and I eat grass for the rest of our lives?

– –

“The Cow” was written shortly after I left America to take up residence in County Clare, Ireland.  It is one a number of poems written in response to the rural life I had begun to experience in Clare.

Knute Skinner

KNUTE SKINNER lives in Killaspuglonane, County Clare, his home for the past fifty-five years. His poetry has appeared widely in Ireland, Britain, Australia and North America. He is the author of sixteen books of verse including a collected edition, Fifty Years: Poems 1957-2007, which appeared from Salmon. A memoir, Help Me to a Getaway, was published by Salmon in 2010.

Ouevre

The Window Seat

Poetry by Knute Skinner

I found Edna stretched out there, absorbing the sun. “You look just like a cat,” I announced and put down my armload of books. “Do you also purr?” “I purr...
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What Trudy Knows

Poetry by Knute Skinner

I find myself mourning but not for anyone we have buried and not for the old neighbourhood or my lost youth or any of that crap. To make no bones...
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The End of the Road

Poetry by Knute Skinner

He walks along the possible road, one deliberate step ahead of the next. At the end of the road, it may be, there’ll be sustenance, shelter, a sensation of sympathetic...
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Anthology

जो रो ना सके वो जवानी क्या

Poetry by Omendra Ratnu

जो रो ना सके वो जवानी क्या ! जो हंस ना सके वो बुढ़ापा क्या ! जो चल ना सके वो हौसला क्या ! जो मिट ही जाए वो फासला...
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Such total giving

Poetry by Pariksith Singh

Such total giving Back to you, the world Down to the marrow, the bones Such complete shedding of me Purge of will Adoration so deep it becomes surrender Submission such...
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On The Edge

Poetry by Arwa Qutbuddin

Holy intoxication makes my spirit drunk I sip from the lake that holds a sacred moonbeam inside its black waters This beauty leaves me in rapture of the starless night...
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