Haunt of Thieves: part three

Posted by ractrose on 10 Sep 2018 in Art, Poems

Oil painting of soldier before burned landscape




Haunt of Thieves

Part Three


Only now the river Bedhokan

She whose flowing waters

Gain in strength and claim

(For there is no answer to her whim; in their season

the iron clouds will rain)

A goddess’s Authority to shape the land

She cannot in her course be checked by laws

of warring men

Only now passing watchtowers on the shore

Does the freight of flood-scoured wreckage

From the battlefield and forsaken town

Spill without heed

To the lost memory of the seafloor

Gafeidda would say no more

He understands and would have told the Shepherd so

That all synods of all wisest men

Conclude with an old brutality

Ask the generals, if you will, or ask the farmers

Will they then at last give way

When the seedling’s roots have drawn the blood

From the slaughter’s soil

When lightning-flindered, forty seasons hence

These aging limbs must fall

And the kindling’s metal atoms

Steeped in moss and glassy resin

Burgeon to a conflagration


Will they now ungrip their fingers

And be reconciled?

…they will answer no

“No, I will not be at peace, not

while my enemy breathes”

And who, Gafeidda thinks, is the enemy?


The Bedhokan plunges here, the water’s curtain

Tears helter-skelter til each droplet

vaporizes sheeting the fallen rock

This impasse stalls Gafeidda at the height

That overlooks the sheltered way

And twice a torchbearer’s flame burns red

At the cavern’s mouth beneath the cataract

Long rains have undermined

Columned firs that anchored once the path

Now corpses in their resting places

The still-green crowns still poised

Above the eddy

Held by their lacings of twigs

That cannot bear a man’s weight




Haunt of Thieves

Virtual cover for poetry collection Mystery Plays
Haunt of Thieves (part four)










(2016, Stephanie Foster)




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