Work about fate (6)
The sky, like a gargantuan roof, topped those timber and smoke pillars, like the final piece of a vast temple whose dimensions were belittling my sense of destiny.
We cut through the palm-tree-dotted, yellow desert, the horizon pink, Tariq beside the driver, Marwan behind Tariq, James and I on the third seat, only the driver aware of where we were going.
“I wonder,” James said, “if the other driver was really sick.”
A dead dog’s snout was facing away from its front paws, the carcass splayed out on the road like a trophy from the night’s fighting.
A town sat on the straight road’s converging edges. More dead dogs, expunged of will, decorated the road.
High palms towered over the town’s low buildings. Black smoke rose above the treetops.
“I think,” Tariq said, “it’s Fellujah.”
"Be careful what you wish for, you may receive it." --Anonymous
Without, the night was cold and wet, but in the small parlour of Laburnum villa the blinds were drawn and the fire burned brightly. Father and son were at chess; the former, who possessed ideas about the game involving radical chances, putting his king into such sharp and unnecessary perils that it even provoked comment from the white-haired old lady knitting placidly by the fire.
"Hark at the wind," said Mr. White, who, having seen a fatal mistake after it was too late, was amiably desirous of preventing his son from seeing it.
"I'm listening," said the latter grimly surveying the board as he stretched out his hand. "Check."
"I should hardly think that he's come tonight, " said his father, with his hand poised over the board.
"Mate," replied the son.
"That's the worst of living so far out," balled Mr. White with sudden and unlooked-for violence; "Of all the beastly, slushy, out of the way places to live in, this is the worst. Path's a bog, and the road's a torrent. I don't know what people are thinking about. I suppose because only two houses in the road are let, they think it doesn't matter."
"Never mind, dear," said his wife soothingly; "perhaps you'll win the next one."
reads cracked lines
of leftover Turkish coffee.
A gypsy, wanderer by trade
she travelled to Turkey, Syria, Lebanon
belly-danced in taverns,
then ended up in eastern Ontario.
But her wedding band bruised her finger.
She left her husband
with glacier winds swirling her hair,
phantom aromas of garlic, allspice, mint
lingered in dark strands
she pulls at them and peers
into the cup again,
strains sunken eyes
Once beautiful, village men sang
love ballads, strummed fingers on guitars
that later pressed into her olive skin.
Now old eyes look deep into the cup.
She leans forward,
elbows on table edge,
her wrinkled fingers entwine.
She tries to read her fate
but sees nothing,
only remnants of caffeine.
having been violated when a child.
We draw milk blue circles around
mystery which blooms.
She'll touch other things: tenderly as though hot coals from the fire, with tongs:
feathers, frond of fern sea urchins
the most particular & pleasing
from a friend's cancer pain
the Iscador injections.
I run my forefinger over the glossy
sufrace of my elm-plan desk my coffee world
waiting for rain to finish
packing & curling the world
autumn rusting its edged
I've seen portent out the door
in the great black crow glossy as bootpolish
clothespin white wood in his beak:
he could tweak the garment of mortality & hang it on a branch by the creek.
I walk on glass The horseman's shadow. This too will pass?
It may shatter
I take care
to leave no blood on the air.