Obsidian’s Edge 5

Obsidian’s Edge 5

9:00 am
Mescal and Memory

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Frail old men
huddled under hand-woven blankets
sipping their morning mescal:
each face
a note book seamed with memories.

Crab apples
hastening to autumnal crispness,
their wrinkled faces,
their minds ready to tramp
the snow of today’s blank page.

Unwieldy limbs
bursting back to bloom,
flower by unyielding flower,
they squat in the square
beneath blossoming trees.



characters lifted from the pages
of their pre-Columbian chronicles
and Mickey-Moused on modern walls:

Ocho Venado
framed on a restaurant menu,
recalled on a hunded peso bill.

has forgotten how to walk
on the burned, broken feet
that Cortés held to the fire.

Ocho Venado,
a king in his own right,
bows and bobs to tourists
in the restaurant that bears his name.


an errant, feathered knight,
whirs his wings and charges
at the sun’s twin windmills:
sun-dog ear-rings
tethered to a golden flower.



Sweet flutter-by of yesterday’s butterfly:

fragments the memory
holding it bitter between tooth and tongue.

6 thoughts on “Obsidian’s Edge 5

  1. Thanks, Tanya. I searched the house yesterday for the book and couldn’t find a copy. “Oh dear,” I said, “all gone.” But there was one hard copy left by the bedside bookshelf. What a relief. I am revising and rewriting from e-texts and memory right now. It’s good to have the reality of paper at my fingertips.


  2. The girls in Hunthorpe, and Layerthorpe (good Viking names, in York, UK) in the early decades of the last century, sometimes dressed up dead mice and rats in similar dolls clothing and played with them in their toy prams. Short-lived dolls, even in death. Where the fleas went, one could only imagine.

    These are all beautiful Roger. You must get them all properly published, even if you have to do it yourself.


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