each crammed body
choked with hope
each one’s last chance
unfit to float
against the drag
but hope has to turn back
an elemental change
as sea replaces air
and all arms flail
and fail to grasp
it takes no time to drown
We trod the traintrack thistle-verge in silence,
fanning midges, hopping sleepers. My lips
stained from blackberries, bursting
in their ripeness, bramble-plucked by hungry fingers.
Fissured earth stretched out like wounds,
baring veins in roots, a fine layer of dirt
stained the underside of my naked feet.
Nature was dead from the waist down,
her canopy was Paris-green but men tore
holes underneath it with their fingernails.
We stopped before the kissing gate
and he promised me a stream, behind
gauze bushes and felled trees. The air
was clammy there and sat like sweat between
my budding breasts.
……………..That Summer cooked wildgrass into whips,
and the oilseed cut punishing slits into my calves
as I ran home. The blackberries curdled into wine
inside my belly, and I could hear the Jackdaws laughing
as the dirt-paths scarred the softness of my feet.
link to my blog can be found…
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After: Sofonisba Anguissola, by Anthony Van Dyck
the two dimensional:
The void calls through gossamer veils and widow’s peak;
…………..Peak widows and veils gossamer through calls void.
shifty-eyed now of necessity, I lie; bone-wrapped
…………..Bone-wrapped lie I of necessity. Now, shifty-eyes,
in rosaries, black as my rheumy eyes, death speaks.
…………..speak death, eyes rheumy, mine as black as rosaries,
Uncomforted by silk laid down or velvet, role-trapped
…………..trapped, rolled in velvet or down-laid silk, uncomforted in
corseted, board stiff with age I lie. Calfskin vellum
…………..vellum calfskin, lie I. Aged, on a stiff board, corseted,
like paper peeled, bloodless gutted by the knife of man.
…………..man of knife gutted, by the bloodless, peeled, papered—
The scene is set. I shall not whimper, as do some,
…………..some do but whimper, not I. Shall I set the scene? Are
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After: “Time does not bring relief…”
Edna St. Vincent Millay and Norma Millay Ellis.
not all have
lied told me
leave bitter, old
memory never fell
*an erasure sonnet
The feral pigs of De Grey River bushwhack Aussie campers, camouflaging themselves as kangaroos. As porcine Crocodile Dundees. They slink through the woody cover and crawl commando-style through open ground to steal the campsite’s cache of beer. Old timers mumble between mouthfuls of vegemite sandwiches that swine raiders have absconded again with the goods. Six-packs of Foster’s, Bluetongue and Pure Blonde saddle-bagged on the backs of the fleeing marauders. A renegade Olde Frothingslosh smuggled into the outback by a Yank with a G.O.P. trust fund kaput. The boars rip through the cans and gnaw off the caps. Guzzle the lager until even the local heifers look like the finest Vietnamese Potbellies in the hop haze. Tourists gather in Land Rovers to watch cows chase the besotted hogs around the campfires and ransacked pup tents. Snockered pigs careen off small children. Squealing off-key porker renditions of “Tie Me Kangaroo Down.” “The…
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