Changelings

The nights must’ve been the worst,
trapped in that half-crumpled house
no longer a home
with the decomposing bodies
no longer their mothers
& the explosions & tracer fire lighting up
the sky no longer a place
for flights of imagination.
By the time the Red Crescent people
got to them, their child eyes
had been emptied & replaced
by the hungry unblinking heart-
shaped faces of praying mantises
& the rats had made off with
their voices, leaving little more
than the crumbs of a squeak.
Also in the news: scientists have learned
that stones in a desert, toppling
forward bit by bit as the sand
is blown out from in front of them,
move in recognizable formations into
the prevailing wind, the sand
forming protective windrows against
the close approach of other stones,
& this holds true even
on distant planets where
the air is so lacking, you’d see
the blackness of space at high noon.

*

Links: Red Cross finds starving children with 12 corpses in Gaza ‘house of horrors’; How Martian Winds make Rocks Walk

11 Comments


  1. Lanky – Fortunately for both me and the borough, I’m a Snyder Township resident. The guy you want is my brother Steve. He lives right on Logan Avenue.

    Reply

  2. God damn. If poetry could end the war, this would end it.

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  3. I thought I’d thought in and through and round those children already. I hadn’t.

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  4. You’ve done it again. Taken the horrible and paired it with a wonder. All those bones. All those stones.

    (Not to be rude to broken flesh, could you link to the science article?)

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  5. Thanks folks. Deb, sorry for the oversight. I’ve edited the post to include both links.

    Reply

  6. Stunning. I found that the ‘other news’ kindof broke the spell, stopped it rising to some height of poetical perfection, but then again what do we want, to survive the thought and have a view, or poetical perfection? In this case, if the image is not somehow broken, diffused or put into perspective quite quickly it just drives you into a place of numb horror.

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  7. It may have taken me a while, but today, when walking in twilight, mind busy with Martian stones and Gaza dust, as it has been over the last twenty-four hours, I turned my interior glance upward and saw the blackness that you wrote of and had the chilling feeling that I was looking out of the ochreous eye of a dead planet, which in some infinitesimal way maybe it isn’t, if the news it true, but that’s another matter.

    Reply

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