leypoldI opened the gate, walked into the garden
Rust flaked off in my hands

Sifting the dust
To put out the air
Squeeze my eyes shut to open to

Angel wings, a maiden
This urn
I smelled it from the garden gate

Rust of the gate
Earth of the urn
And moss

I would wait here to find a sign
Maze of ivy
Path leading to brambles

Cold female breasts
The shape of a bronze ass
My hand sweeping over it

And I would wait

Clatter of the iron gate
Clatter of the crows rising from it

Cliché falls out of time
Cliché puts me through time
Cliché of my birth
Cliché of my abandonment
Cliché of betrayal
Swinging the sword in a cliché
Of death, cliché falling back

Air alive with the cut
The hem of my coat
Sharp enough to lop the heads
Off the roses, that cliché

I circled the garden
A square one walks in a psychotic line
What I thought were

Best man

Waiting to see

Listening for her voice

My skin striated like bark
On the monkey puzzle tree

He planted
And I stand under.

–Shaun Perkins


2 thoughts on “Mordred”

  1. yeowza… That’s some ‘musing’ my friend. It’s one of those poem for me that has great visual and I have to dig into it to ‘get it’. I’m not sure I do ‘get it’ but it’s beautiful and painful for me.
    I love this stanza. A powerful piece Shaun.. thanks so much.

    “Air alive with the cut
    The hem of my coat
    Sharp enough to lop the heads
    Off the roses, that cliché”

    1. Thank you, Jeanne! Mordred’s story has always attracted me–the tragedy, betrayal, the longing to belong, to be a part of something. I so appreciate when you comment, fellow poet.

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