You Stand and Knock; The Westward Gable; A Bloodied Hand
You Stand and Knock
churched up in the holly bush
against the wall
at my door
at the constant comings and goings,
the footfalls and follies of
spent, lost, and found.
You stub your foe, it seems,
with threats of sweeping calamity.
You wing it;
open booked, spine straining:
‘mene, mene, tekel, parsin’.
If it is meaning you aim at
I cannot divine it.
You profit, then, in the threat –
hemming me in
between the door and the wall.
nestles down on me
like too much time hunched up
in a scrap of precariously shelved parchment.
in our own ways,
we are left to wonder if,
this is what
The Westward Gable
Above the stream pointing skyward
the byer’s westward gable
Steps would be needed
to broach the gap.
So, her brittle brain and bones
conspired a plan
from the stirring of lime
to the stirruped ladder.
Unsteady the method and mix,
lassoing this job
remained highly unlikely.
Solid, stout, silent, the outhouse
its granite presence
Its paling skin like falling flags of surrender.
Sloppily, she fielded her pale
in the shadow of the seeming immutable.
Snakelike, the wash dripped onto the grass
into water below the first rung.
Pulled long by the weight,
Ridge-shy and short of the apex,
Angelo, she reached long with her dripping yard-brush
soothing, scratching, the sclerotic stone.
Panting eyelevel at the top rung
humming some hymn-tune about hills ‘far far away’.
Above the stream pointing downward
pulled back by the weight,
Body, bucket, and brush, scrapes and falls,
legs and arms, laddered bone against stone;
by the Babbling brook
clearly wrung out.
diverting the stream;
solid, silent, stout, for a
she lay still.
Flung to the bank, her shattered white staff
a marker for what is soon to come.
Spirit over bone, over flesh,
up over the riverbank.
Handling the pain
in the levered rise and fall
of air and water,
sloppily, she bathes her bruised skin
filmed in a thin lather
at the yard pump.
Slapping soaked swaddling
on her bleeding bending arm
false faith welled up
in false healing.
Ridge-shy and short of the apex
memory now hoists up the woman’s
power and presence.
Flesh faced bone like rock immovable.
by the stretching phantom arm
of the bristling past.
And her still singing some song
about a hill
‘far far away’.
A Bloodied Hand
Grounded on the best textual authority
after millennia of practice,
the move was executed with aplomb:
pilgrim progress, belted tight in the Bedford van,
pinches the Coshquin checkpoint.
Triggered. Pulled into the sordid vortex,
caught in adultery. It needed to be cut out,
cut off, cut away, cut back,
the money shot. Live streamed, blood trickles slow
hard-kicked, and the engine warms his groin and skin.
Stiff barrelled he bulls to the Isle pub
to humbly cheer on the sideline,
as if in prayer
(football, it turns out, is more important than life).
Ordered, she holds out her trembling hand
to a flash of stern steel coming down
ejaculating ecstasy, body parts fly.
An out of spirit experience.
You fixate on a bloodied hand hoisted low
that still moves, gesticulates,
as if writing,
as if waving,
in the air,
in the sand,
still turning over an olden age.
Published author who has lived and traveled in a variety of places near and far. Currently lives in Virginia, USA.