Dylan Thomas looks in the mirror


In the pudgy summer of face
Where in flesh moulded dough of quick thickening chins
Kneaded and knocked into place
Gaze dog squatting eyes in fissures
Pinched by cold
Snubbing boneless nose under pressures
Of white and larded temples stropped old
As the edge of hair thins
Or scrummages on skull's crinkled heath,
Ears like curl handles of cup
While mouth pouts and its spout of steam
Glazes bone china teeth
In skin of sickly cream
And the nostrils tip
To whey the roly-poly of infant fat features
And eyes sullen and blithe alive as little leeches.


Milked skin slack-happy over skull's repose
And under the watery dewlap of face
The forceless nose
Pug nostrils wide like railrunning tunnels
Lord it over fished lips
And lump chin.
Here is the ebbed recessional of hair
With barroom stare
And pin-
Backwards of curl ears like potato chips
Whilst sunk to the gunwales
Of throat are my tremulous sprung-voiced
Words with which in tongues I am hoist.

From Send-Up