In amongst the misogyny, the wrath, the bullishness and the smoke (more smoke, less fire; less savage than the last) there's an ember of Ted Hughes that endures.... He needs shaking off, perhaps, but here function follows form (inverting Sullivan) and he's become necessary, if just for a single song. If this song, at the moment just a slightly slurred and snaky take on The Sutton Wytch Hunt, ever sees the light of day on the upcoming (soon, soon) IX Tab album then Ted will have to have his counterbalance & I know just the chap...
(some will have already guessed this forced mystery is mostly for me)
I imagine this midnight moment's forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock's loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.
Through the window I see no star:
Something more near
Though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:
Cold, delicately as the dark snow
A fox's nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now
Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come
Across clearings, an eye,
A widening deepening greenness,
Coming about its own business
Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox
It enters the dark hole of the head.
The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.