Dedicated to one who sees Centaurs all the time. x
You cannot see him, because your common sense, your rational hold, will not let you acknowledge his existence. You keep your distance from such things, preferring your irony and your chic indifference. But he is real; he is beautiful; he is beyond. Imagine.
Imagine having a horse’s body springing from a man’s. The muscular, thriving, sleek, stunning power of that horse-self is absolute, unremitting. The long, fine, stretching legs pound the earth with sure insistence. How those haunches shift – dark slabs of fibre, clenched then released, clenched then released. A rump like a heft of sun, like a giant fist, like a globe of earthly essence, heaves behind him, thrusting his majesty forward. He is energy, magnificence, pride, life.
He is a centaur.
His home is in these wild, turbulent forests. This land is undulating, hillish, busy with form and shape. In vast declivities, chestnut, oak, beach and maple grow, together, various, textured. There are sharp, rocky cliffs and smooth river valleys here; there are little knolls, crowned with firs, big peaks, girthed with laburnum and pine. Everything here is abundant, green, shaggy, vigorous, rich. The great green surge of spring into summer comes here like a stunning tide of vibrant life. In the tangled, messy undergrowth, a thousand creatures find their niches. Everything teems.
And the centaur is of this place; he belongs here; he is part of all that he encounters; he is the soul of this grand wooded land. Look where he strides – four pillars, four lightning flashes uplifting him thorough the ampleness of the scene.
His face is a swathe, an elegance, a handsome, slender streak of dignity. His dark, brooding eyes, look benignly, enquiringly on all that they see. He is curious. His long, flowing mane of hair feminises him, softens, elongates, lightens his defiance. He sways and flows.
He has a man’s slender, taut, athletic torso, a smooth, lust-inducing body, etched delicately with curving, shapely lines. His broad chest juts out bigly. But he is slinky, syrupish, supple and delicate, spare, lyric-like, beautiful.
The horse him and the man him are in harmony, balanced, wavering, shimmering, morphing, conversing. He operates on the line, is always in between states, always both human and animal, always in parts, but always combined, always in tune with his duality. He is both.
Ask him how it feels, and he will struggle to tell you, because he cannot know how it feels to be merely you, but if we decode his language, translate his mysterious pronouncements, we might, rather brashly, rather awkwardly assert something like this: when a man has an erection, a huge, bigger-than-he-has-ever-known hard on, and he feels out of control, pulled and dragged by this massive thing in front of him, in the power of the upright, throbbing, stiff cock, he begins to know how the centaur feels all the time, all the time.
Yes, that is a crude, ugly analogy, but it approximates the gross, erotic, animal truth of centaurism: a centaur is on, all the time.
Now, you might begin to wonder if this centaur of ours is some kind of strutting fool, a creature so pleased with itself that he will constantly seek to lord it over his fellows, that he will look down upon the rest of us, dismiss us, belittle us, tread upon us.
And this is vital: the centaur knows no supremacy; he is no demigod; he feels no power over others, over the world. His power is a mutual, conversing, involving power. He is in tune with his forest, his fellows, his everything. He breathes in deeply and feels all the earth’s simple energy flood into his blood, and he accepts this, loves this, lives this. The centaur is a lover, not a lord.
He loves the trees, the leaves, the sap, the twists in the bark, the crooked turns in the twigs, the whole tree, its lofty aspiration towards light. He loves the animals that thrive in the woods: the badgers skulking in their lair; the foxes mapping the terrain; the small fry scurrying hither and yon. He takes account of all this, adjusts himself to fit with it, meets it on terms of acceptance and approval. He loves his world and it loves him.
Mostly, he loves the sun, flourishes in it, leans towards it, basks in it, grows for it, with it, at it. He is of the sun. His days are long; he is burnished, tempered, kissed with blushing health, touched by beaming life. He lives his days out there, in the air, under the sun.
Such grace, such self-awareness, but also such availability, such orientation towards the other, such readiness to learn and understand and welcome. See how he inclines his head to hear what you say.
The centaur, of course, like all things of the imagination, is queer. He goes across, cuts athwart, transgresses, transfers. He is at an angle to the dull, solid world. He is galloping in a direction that cannot be quite comprehended; he is racing towards the other, the marvellous, the exotic. He is not confined, is not restrained, is not travelling in straight lines. He is queer.
See how he loves his fellows, his centaur brothers; see how he caresses their luxurious beauty; see how he kisses, embraces, touches, finds his lovers. He goes at love, with power and tenderness and exuberance. He ruts, tups, routs his lovers. He holds them in the light of his loving gaze; he takes them into his safe, strong arms; he does for them all that they want and need; he does them with drive and abandon. He pleasures every sense, every place, every desire of his lovers. He knows how to hit the heart; he knows how to excite; he knows how to love. He is lust made flesh; he is lust become love.
You should see him; you should know him; you should dare to encounter the centaur, the dashing, flashing, lady-like man; the hurtling, steaming, champing beast. His hooves are his manner: they are right, right against the ground; they do their work with absolute assurance, with complete, careful insistence; with sheer love. You should hear him approaching, smell his earthy, musky, pepperish scent, feel his hot breath on your flesh, taste his cinnamon kisses to your mouth. You should know the centaur, for then he will care to know you.