2012: Jonathan Blake – Those Lords of the Flies

Poetry selection from the 2012 issue.

Those Lords of the Flies
By Jonathan Blake

Barefoot and naked
But for their briefs,
A tribe of wild children
Climb the rocks behind me, bend
Frost’s trees, battle
The imagined enemies
Of the forest, raise
Their crude weapons
In defiance. Their cries
Of victory return again
And again from the hills
Like the voice of Echo.
Even the crows take warning.

I have come close
To the water with pen and paper
Seeking a stillness
I can translate. I desire
A quiet these fierce
Warriors will know only
When the light goes
From this valley: freshly
Bathed, unable to keep
Their eyes open on soft
Pillows, the slow hand
Of their mothers along
The hard skull holding
Their dreams.

But there is no defeat
In them now: no tenderness.
I think if they find me
It will be only a matter
Of time, my blood on
Their hands as they hold
Parts of me up to the sky;
Their cries shrill, haunting,
Scattering the birds;
And later, in silence, under
A pristine sky, they will sit
Sharing, tearing with strong teeth,
The tough heart of the enemy.

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