The labyrinth is safe but endless

You think you stroll
a straightforward path
bits of thread-meaning only
someone has been before
(you) until at dead-center
end and broken
in the circle of dreams
the third fox appears

you begin to imagine
messages, force weary words

O Sly One, what problem
must I solve, task
perform to win
the prize, or
merely live?


Title from W. H. Auden’s poem “Casino.”

13 thoughts on “The labyrinth is safe but endless”

    1. Thank you. The fox was rolling around in my mind last week, but when I read this Auden poem, the images kind of clicked together.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Is it spring fever, or just me? I am in a little bit of lumbering exhausted rut these days.


  1. Anything inspired by Auden and written by you is bound to be magic! I love the fox and the line “bits of thread-meaning” may be my favourite part, though that last stanza is wonderful, too. You so beautifully convey a complex feeling of weary disillusionment as perceived by someone who is all-knowing -or maybe that’s me layering on my own mood.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. …and broken is Ariadne’s thread. I’ve always liked that line. I love foxes in poems or otherwise, but what is the reference to the third fox? It intrigues me. The more the merrier, obviously, but I’m still curious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that whole Auden poem just grabbed me.
      So, in real life, there was one fox in my dream. Then the next day, I found two foxes, in quick succession, in my Facebook feed. So I got little poetic shivers and began to wonder. (Which of course is not at all clear in the poem, so that gives me something to consider on revision.)


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