This is what happens when I read the classics…Sine Virtus, Sine Laus.

The Forest of the Suicides

The trailing blood
From ill-slashed wrists,
The improvised rope,
The poisonous hair,
The body, dangling,
Grows down to ravaged earth,
Taking root in soil
That is the corpus of Dante.

I walk down this avenue,
Of -in this- successful,
The faithful boughs, murmuring,
Their words in dark sap,
Beading. Congealing. Dead
Words coagulate in harpy dung;
Bird call and the heat from hanging
Dugs radiating against my scalp. Filth perched,
Reminiscent of Damocles,
These angelic reflections, over my head.

It is not so bad. Here.
The voices of my brethren
Begging me, sit. In space
Between the feet, the roots, that were
Legs of women fleeting from rape,
Deer swift and sure.
I find my rest, and it is merciful.
I am allowed, here, to let myself go.

Becoming a voice which rises,
Unaware of Your judgment-
You Giver of Life, take payment in words-
Out of the sap. The talons raise
Weals, but scratch the cover off
New sounds among the freshets;

Paper is only so much metamorph wood,
This is only a story;
This flesh and wine could stand
My feet, no longer cold,
Take root in this transubstantiate earth,
Sending up flowers, bearing their fruit
From the Plenty Horn of rot;
There is requisite peace.


About Bethany W Pope

Bethany W Pope was named by the Huffington Post as ‘one of the five Expat poets to watch in 2016’. Nicholas Lezard, writing for The Guardian, described her latest collection as 'poetry as salvation'.....'This harrowing collection drawn from a youth spent in an orphanage delights in language as a place of private escape.' Bethany has won many literary awards and published several collections of poetry. Her first novel, Masque, was published by Seren in 2016. Her second novel, Ordinary Lives: The Ballad of John and Mary, was published in 2018. Follow her on Twitter @BethanyWPope

Posted on November 19, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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