SENTINEL POETRY

ONLINE MAGAZINE MONTHLY     ISSUE #10 SEPTEMBER 2003     ISSN 1479-425X

BRUCE ACKERLEY SIX POEMS


Murder Mountain

Your birth was a rabid affair,
Waxy petrifaction. A panicked scattering
Of tectonics and slow burning screams
Unfurled the miracle to an unpeopled earth.
It was more than the dawn could bear,
To hold you; your flagrant ambition
Till from the rim of fledgling eyes
The firmament's curve, the sun's far side.
 
You have herded your isolation.
A single dissident orchid. An exile
Prized from the hissing Karakoram.
Three miles down every shadow
Bears your weight, an unblinking deity.
Silence stuns the Hunza
Its sons do well to hold their tongues.
 
So many men have come.
A weary, rag-tag bunch
Of hot-shot dreams, fleshy accoutrements
All wrapped up in the spider's weave.
Lives staked out on dioxide smiles
And how you laugh!
Perhaps they do not understand
For all things must end here.
Their insect fates soon sealed
When death scores every cleft
With its five bar gates.
 
All this is left -
Your carnivorous shrug
A casting off of hoops
Dust, in the evening's remembrance.
 

Strangers On a Train
 
Poured from the phial is the bile
That sinks my battleship.
 
Leave me be while I haul in the silence,
Pack my veins with ice. Don't you see?
 
These days stand statuesque,
They do not meet your gaze,
 
Nor the doleful hunt of eyes for love
Among stale upholstery.
 
There are hidden laws in the roar
Of the station crowd.
 
Mouths that sing for silver
Must bite on tin, swill the sour milk
 
Of the province. Like some barbarous child,
I'll bear their thirst for flint,
 
Go grubbing on the garden rocks,
Laughing with the wood louse,
 
When we throw away our love.
Scorpion to a stranger's touch.

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