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Poetry Magnum Opus



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a child chimney sweep is wise to

the gleam in his masters eyes-

a fire drinking tyrant clears

his throat of phlegm-ghost of

Abraham Lincoln receives a bullet

again-an aircraft arrives at the twin

towers-if only we had a human with

an absent messiahs powers-

he is unavailable to clean up debris

from fires-metal bird wings plunge into

the tower-a second plane rips at the

throat of history-a savior stutters

negotiating his trip-in a womb unborn

his Mother watches replays of lives

torn and aeroplanes arrive like nails

being knocked into flesh. In Africa

the second coming of a drought-twin

girls with bellies of fire but no

nourishment or sustenance dance through

their bonfire of dreams. The ambulance

of rains will not arrive. One child of war

wakes to the sound of collapsing floors

outside a building within a war zone-

with wings a butterfly covers his eyes

then settles on a wound-the butterfly

turns black then red the boy falls

failed by a phantom limb-now he is

free of the rapture of war. What

colour is skin in the next life?.

Religion is still supported by a

creaking cross and the loss of

a singular Christ his revenant

presence persists in life.

Pain exists without the limb-

the crucifix bleeds without the

Christ-hands move independently

of the clock.

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David W. Parsley

Hi eclipse, another work of great merit, you are clearly on a roll. There is particular power in the speaker's bewilderment at unchecked violence (bullets, driven nails, fire, etc.) against the innocent, the appeal for Someone to step in and halt it. Hints at who should be intervening adds to the sense of frustration, helplessness, and shaken faith. Wonderful understatement with the first plane merely "arrive'-ing like a mortal pronouncment with its stark message of black passion.


As always, I have some suggestions, chief of which is to let this rest awhile, then return and complete a clean-up pass. Some specifics:


- I find that too many of the sentence fragments and phrases start with "a". Even "Abraham" plays into the sense of repeating word and sentence structure. How about shaking it up, by starting such a phrase with the word "ghost" or "shade"? Similar re-phrasing could help others, as well. Speaking of repetition, there are four occurrences of 'plane' in the poem.


- Maybe you could remove a few apostrophes from 'forest of moons' and consider inserting them here. On the other hand, shouldn't "belly's" actually read "bellies" as used here?


- It seems like some pedestrian phrases could be substituted with action verbs, tightening the narrative and prosody: "planes crash"; "being hammered"; "food or sustenance"


Happy New Year to you, too, my gifted friend. Much success.

- David

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