Red Poets Magazine 2017

Absolution.

To the muted drum

Of my slow heart beat

One step, two step,

Each step in time.

A headless man,

A fountain of blood,

Walks uninvited

Into my dreams.

One step, two step,

Each step in time

A fountain of blood

That gushes in streams,

Covers my clothes,

Covers my eyes.

Other men standing

Leaden and still,

Faces caught frozen,

Unhinged by the sight.

One step, two step,

Each step in time.

A line of masks,

Wrinkled and creased,

Skin like leather

Painted dim white.

One step, two step,

Each step in time.

A lost ball rolling

To drip red feet,

Spins on the black track,

To show once again

The screaming wide gape

Of still twisted lips.

One step, two step,

Each step in time.

In the low long lean

Of the coal yards rise,

Smooth steel rails

Snake on the flat land

Like silvered blades.

And a raw red sun

Pours tears in the sky,

Pours scorn in the hand,

Pours fear in my eye.

One step, two step,

Each step in time.

A man on his back,

A fountain of blood

Awash in a stretcher

Continues to writhe.

To the muted  drum

Of my cold heart beat.

One step, two step,

Each step in time.

1974.

 

 

Published Red Poets Magazine 2017.

First published in Rob Cullen’s poetry collection “Uncertain Times” Octavo Press 2016.

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