Turtle Island (part two)

Posted by ractrose on 26 Nov 2018 in Art, Poems

Oil painting of turtle-shaped volcanic island




Turtle Island




The cavern wastes its vapors, offerings here

Sacrifices to the god of Secret Dealings

Far from the watchful eye of Nemesis

Not so far she doesn’t see

But the leg-bone in its trouser clad

Snagged on a thrust of rock

Separated from an old indentured torso

But this dark joke of a man’s lower half

Warns the prisoners cruel acts

The tide conspires to thwart concealing

At civilization’s feathering edges, far more may ill-deeds fall in cracks

The waves froth, the ceiling hangs with a rime of salt

The coffer wants no seer to interpret

Its rotting portent, glinting gold

The peak of Turtle Island, Mount Whitelock

Named for her first explorer

A British peer, who’d traveled wide, seen much

But hadn’t learned of this

Mossy carpets bridging crevices plummeting

To the very heart of Vulcan’s forge

For Baron Whitelock, a marvelous mausoleum

Hanging garden, pantheon, columbarium

Black rock netted with rusty crimson

Gothic spires vaulting, mystery pulsing

In the altar’s reliquary of crusted magma


Here is my thought then, says one, crouching low

An edge narrows to the widening mouth

His finger sketches its parallel

Black rocks, conical, cluster a square of level sand

Some dozens of feet down, the cavern wall receding

“Trap ourselves, that way?” his comrade says

The first pouches his blouse-tail, and ties a cache of coin

Silent, his face conveys his scorn

Then he speaks: “You would rather help them to their gold.

Heaven bless you. Do you not see the palms?”




Turtle Island

Pastel drawing of gender-neutral faces wearing cosmetics

Turtle Island (part three)
Time and Place










(2018, Stephanie Foster)




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