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  • Corinium Cockerel - Corinium Museum‬

    76 views 3 years ago
    Corinium Cockerel was written and performed by Dan Simpson

    Go, cockerel: I send you away from my household
    and into the next world with my child
    she, who was so fond of you in life
    demanding to hold and play with you
    at every moment of the day
    from her waking cry at first light
    to her softly-breathing sleep at night.

    In some ways you are alive
    animated by the craft of the bronze-worker
    his hands shaping the prideful curve of breast and wing
    the definite fix of comb and wattle
    the lively detail of eye and beak
    but it was my child who – like some infant Pygmalion –
    breathed life into you through her love.

    And yet more than this – we all gave you spirit:
    in the hollow of your back you hold memories
    household stories of a mother’s love
    everyday moments of a father’s affection
    sounds of siblings’ teasing and laughter
    the clash and clatter of an entire household
    turning our villa inside out, trying to find you when lost.

    The dark shade of night’s sky lightens to deep blue
    after this profoundly long and severe night
    and I remember that you are Mercury’s creature:
    heralding the coming of the light with a cry of triumph
    a message from the gods that a new day is here
    that we mortals are not forgotten by the gods
    hope rising as surely – and slowly – as the sun.

    Speak for me now, you who may speak freely with Mercury
    tell him of my child who can no longer see that light
    nor feel the first touch of Sol’s warmth
    put my anguish into your crowing
    give voice to my grief where I can not
    so that the gods may know
    something of mortal suffering.

    Tell Apollo that his medicine does not always work
    and that Mors has eager teeth to take one so young
    crow for her who can no longer cry
    and charge Mercury to see her safe
    in her passage to the afterlife
    where I may see her again one day
    holding you, cockerel, as I hold you now.


    The background image is of a mosaic from Pompeii depicting a cock fight. Image courtesy of IMAGO, The Roman Society Centenary Image Bank - http://www.romansociety.org....... Show less
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