Literary Yard

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‘Master of the Wild Hunt’ and other poems by Steven Goff

By: Steven Goff


Master of the Wild Hunt

A wolf pack’s worth of fingers glint their fangs
along pristine fur, trappings of the trapper’s
hand traverse perfect skin. An animal’s prized
symmetry has been ensnared at the apex of his
pitfall eyes and is transfigured into a revenant
muff or a coif of ill-intent.

Stripped bare and finely preened, the animal’s
brutalized features frame a toothless grin.
Matted hair which stalked and leapt has left,
the hunter dons his dappled fur as if he were
Hercules sporting the Nemean lion’s mane.

And when in death the body still is grimacing,
one cannot help but wonder what wonder
of the earth the earth is now bereft.


Perfect Graffiti

Poignant smut, reliefs etched onto the door
of a bathroom stall; deeper meaning can be
gleaned from ribald writing scribbled over
the ribs of a linoleum wall that one
would not dare lean upon.
Some hold that graffiti cannot be beautiful.
They contest that penknife etchings are little
more than vitriol and scribbling can never
be considered art. The rub therein lies
in part on such a strangers’ humour differing
from ours.

So what if the runes are filth, if the wards
and signets are scribed with an acrid mirth?
Words are their own joy. Language exists
as the persistence of human will
beyond death. These unearthed hieroglyphs
are just that; the cave paintings at Lascaux,
poignant smut, reliefs etched on a stall door.



Rain beats against tin as if it were a timpani drum,
kaleidoscopic water at play on the windowpane
has made the road not twenty feet away
very nearly invisible.
I am the ornery occupant of an imposed aquarium.
I listlessly pace the floor as if I were a shark
dragging its flank along layered glass
that is actively being tapped upon. An interpreter
of the storms inflection, my head has become
an orchestral percussion section.
Three days of steady rain have kept me indoors.


Narcissus and Echo

Mirrored in the surface of a passing stream, beauty’s twin
is seen admiring Narcissus’ perfect hair and skin.
His reflection is a shapely shade fashioned in the old way
of a body aping God. Dual silhouettes flex
at the discretion of a passing wave and when they find
themselves murmuring sweet nothings on the wind,
the wind relays those messages back at them.



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