Eye Into Folktale by Allan Gould

EYE INTO FOLKTALE

The ghosts of Jang Heung
Voices leave the bones of a fire
Abandon it to the savage hunger
Of an onrushing tide –
Chase out over waves
spooking gulls asleep on crag.

Cats eat baby-cries in alleys
Orgies at the witching hour
Their whaling crawls in our windows,
sneak into our dreams.

Light closes in.
the poison in his mouth,
her tears her only weapon,
a snake lashes its figure in expectation,
the smell of death
on its tongue.
Deceit uncoils from its eye.
Will heaven lose its daughter?
The servant finds shadows, as she is spared.
The heart of man her saviour;
a servant to her vanity.

Your kingdom hangs in spindled darkness.
Gamag Nara.
Your fiercest beasts hurled
to harvest light,
to steal those early gods.
Returned with frozen jaw,
scorched splints in each iris.
From the eyepool
snapping jaws turn black the bending sea –
hope rinsed in violence
as your people pray in silence.

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