The Full Moon

May 13, 2013

With his back to the door,
seated, shrunken on the floor
in dim yellow light
and deep obsidian fright,
he listens to the heavy thuds
thumping hesitantly, unsteadily closer—
at odds with the beat of his heart
racing faster and harder.
The final footstep falls
just inches away from where he sits
and the door pushes against his back,
and as it opens he shuffles forwards.

And now he is running,
without looking back,
knowing too well what he’ll see.
In the distance he sees the full moon
that has brought the beast here,
and he runs towards the pale disc,
claws thrashing at his back.

Our brave adventurer runs on,
amongst the carcasses of those that went before,
those that could not outrun the beast,
could not evade its long arms,
but our hero is determined.
Ahead he sees salvation:
a black hole in the ground,
surrounded by gnarled, heavy roots.
If he can make it inside,
he’s sure the beast will not be able to follow.

The lion-hearted champion holds his breath—
he knows that timing is everything;
he steels himself, siezes his chance
and dives headlong towards the burrow,
not knowing what might lie therein
but sure nothing can be worse
than the beast on his tail.
He’s almost safe, almost escaped,
but he shrieks as he feels the thick roots
curling around his ankles.
Alive with evil—carniverous—they pull,
and he cannot resist their strength.

He is dragged from the tunnel,
arms outstretched towards hope,
losing his grasp more by the second.
Backwards he is hauled,
nothing more to be done,
and then the beast twists his body
to look at him.
He clamps his eyes shut,
to look is to give the beast what it wants,
and though he knows he has lost,
he refuses to give himself up.

He hears that dreadful sound,
the thing he fears the most,
as the beast unsheathes its blade.
And though he doesn’t understand it,
though it makes no sense,
he knows what is coming.
He whimpers as the beast impales him,
trying to control himself,
to hide his weakness.
He wants to fight it, even tries,
but he is just a boy,
and the beast is too strong.

Eventually, the poison-tipped blade is drawn from him,
but the damage is done,
its blight left inside his body,
and he wants to cry for his mother,
but he knows better than that.
He knows the beast will listen for his cries,
and seek her too, if it hears.
All he can do is stay silent,
and prepare for the next full moon.

He is just a boy,
but one day he will be strong—
One day he will win.

xvi. What if?

April 1, 2011

Squinting out the sun
as it invades your sleep
Zero flicks to one;
deafening: beep beep beep.
As the volume grows
you beg the night to stay
wishing for the shadows
to keep the day away.
Curtains drawn but light
creeps rudely through;
screw your eyes up tight
but morning claws at you.
But if the Sun could hear your pleas
that it should lose its battle with the moon,
If it turned back just to appease,
refusing to bring dawn or noon,
Would you be content,
to see night reign
Or in such an event,
beg for sun again?

 

 

Inspired by the following poem (a gogyohka) from Brigid Briton, found over at her poets’ forum, Poetry Here and Now:

what if day decided
like a groundhog
to turn around and sleep
a while
longer?