Artwork, Poems & Etc. by Mark Price       buy prints | art gallery | poetry is | thoughts on art | bio | talk to me


Paths that Circle
Shouldering through
If Death Were a Woman

Other Poems: Secret Name & Gentle Urgings of a Vaporous Dream & Libidinous Urges & Goodbye to Arcadia
Paths that Circle

I was walking with friends, linked
happily arm in arm until
a chain broke with a resounding clink
and I sunk into the ground, feeling ill
down and down swifter then air I sped
landing with a bump amongst the dead

visions of unremembered dreams can scare
but no picture by Bosch or Brueghel
however strange can prepare
for the smell of surreal hell
it gripped my throat and stung at my eyes
a pillar of smoke rose with anguished cries

and moans of souls scattered on the floor
tortured by regret, dammed by desire
bound, looking desperate for the door
back to their lives out of the fire
that burns incessant, I thought I'd choke
then as if conjured out of smoke

the worthy devil appeared
overbearing in stately grace
down his long nose he leered
pointed eyes glowing malice
tipping his tall burning hat
he said with a grin like a rat 

“come this way sir, we’ve business
with you, some accounts to reconcile
what's done is done, unless
I am mistaken this trial
begins but never ends for you”
offering me shackles and a screw

with inner resolve I gulped my fear,
“a thing can begin that has no end
that does sound queer
you are a liar and no friend
what's done is done  is sure and true
but I'll not be judged by a rat like you”

said I remembering where ancient
trees swept the clouds and the clear
sky spoke to those with ears bent
to the wind closely to hear,
feeling a tingle in my toes
away I lifted on the air arose

from above looking down
I saw the red devil, impotent
watching me ascend on
an updraft that rent the ceiling in two
dissolving as I burst through

into a cloudless sky, gliding
on calmer air, an ancient stand
of trees appears, rising
out of the surrounding land,
swaying in a whispered breeze
that shakes the numberless leaves

each leaf a word spoken to me alone
bending my startled ear to hear
a voice muttering in measured tone
drawing me near
as I around this ancient copse
floated, circling the tree tops

I saw the many paths concentric
that men and women walk, chained
a dizzy ascent with rope and pick
or an easy downward slope but little gained
however long the path around
it ends where it began, nowhere bound.

       end     back to top

Shouldering through

On two thunderous wheels rolling they lean
through banking curves, accelerate ahead
past the gleaming roadside towns, the machine
with riders tuned as male to female sped
undaunted beneath daunting vistas, unbending
around corners throttle open to ascend
a rise and glide down the road unending,
her hair flows disentangled by the wind
and his red beard incongruent,  down his brave
chest somehow indecent as battle scars
attest. She holds her hand in defiant wave
passing lines of gentle folk boxed in cars,
uncertain they see her, naked and true
with fatal gesture she says, ‘I love you.'

            end      back to top



Ptolemy but what’s in your head spinning
orbs and constellations of space,
not gorgeous theatrical gods grinning
as we with long bony fingers will trace
the contours of heaven, wishing to end
this senseless spinning of our expurgated
minds not aligned to what we intend
but chased here and there by each subjugated
clause, a devil in every detail,
a thought spun web from ear to ear to push
away a child’s wonder for a child’s wail
that no mother’s censure may ever shush.
Through a long scope we know astronomy
ut he got it his head, did Ptolemy.

         end     back to top

If Death Were a Woman

If Death were Beauty, a vibrant woman say

shapely breasts and a succulent smile, her
smiling eyes would brighten passing away,
you’d skip over that famous dread river
to where the lonely shades tramp and complain,
from her lovely lips you breath your last breath
telling  your secrets to her without shame.
Reflected in her eyes would you find in death,

a rank corpse’ pallor, hollowed cheek and eyes,
scythe raised over fields of men and women
waiting, rippling waves under sunny skies
darkening as the day recedes. No! when
you tarry along your last evening’s shore
bring flowers, tell her it is she you adore.

              end       back to top



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