We share a cage,
a cliff, a country, a diminishing
ground that draws us in
as it sinks
and surrounds. Walls still stand
Roofless, a sky-light
for the damned. Blood runs dry
The stains, a script--
the literate pass by or never look
into this spine-broken
book where each village fades
House unto house, village
unto village. Hazy, mist drawn,
like tea stained lines
torn from a map. North West South
East --the literate claim,
by any means, all land in between Lines.
Walls. Tea. Blood. Scratches,
that won't heal. A script that cannot
not be read. Sour milk. Mouth
curdled breath. Talk that dies down in sleep
to a dissenting murmur. A curse
hot in the ears, ready to be heard
Sweat eats through skin
Stains on the fingers and lips
These cracked fingers
and lips. Time to.
It's never time. And so it adds up
Life subtracted from life
A hurried high kick, dead on
Toppled, piled up air like bricks to the chest
Your name, a child's name,
your child's face, a leg, an arm
Killing foretells the necessary crime
Betrayal will do, or simply being there
Cinched bones snap
The man who can't walk off
set free. "Hands full" has a hurricane in mind
"Start over" pretends just that
Moonlit stone lanterns, dark, now lead the way
Far below, hunched, haughty,
the heedless hills. On the back of their backs,
dead weight. Discarded lives
In a gashed eye a candle
flickers. Fingers always cold
Drawn down deep within the fist,
what flame exists cannot
reach us. Charred, the ceiling,
the lived in rooms. Charred, the palms,
the healing bones.
Land pocked with beauty
Body with pain
-Kathmandu 11/03    
(((((KALKI'S CRY)))))    
-painting by Shashi Shah    

The horse
buckles under its hydra-headed rider
The whip waits for the lash(ed) to cry out
But head down, helpless
hurt hides her wound
Barren, unbridled deliverance
Rivers rutted through
Wind-cast cries heedless of shaping
When the fog breaks—
riverbed-ed milk-white bones,
earth-stiffed mouths,
hooved stones, net-scattered clamor,
rain-scared glint where titans clashed,
inbred rule (outed) still rules
No time to think/ no time/ no shelter/ No shelter
Unhinged door/ threatened ear
Shackled room/ bed no place for hiding
Screams the last thing
to conceal/ a stone-skinned heart
the last and least to heal

Healing wants wounds
Gut-given rights
Self-arisen scars for lips to decipher
Crude sighs/ obscene signs/
stilled gestures that stay meaning
while we shrug or wince
Question-less, the mind stutters still
Occipital endgame
Breath-scathed gasps sear the lungs
Flawed, in mercy, the pinched heart succumbs
A susurrant sutra seals itself in
Spent seeds scattered in a dismal land
A ghost-ghast stench
Wind shifted shapes rise from below
By what we disown,
our out-cast selves kept apart
Parting glances stilled with shame
Ricochet eyes shot through with denial
Burnt offerings/ signature in soot
Retrace your steps…
the road not taken has no name
Rung staggered ladder buried too deep
Behind vigilante smoke and flame
( a shield/ a scepter/ a pronged crown?)
mountains reign

How easy through storm's long night
to lie South and shout North
till the brazen peaks fall
On high Himalayan ground,
sunk in cold, foot-bare, weed-rung rocks,
a forging blood flows deep,
sustained and rooted
In morning's too-soon fierce light,
on all fours, cliff-crawlers,
sweating frost, drowning on air,
left behind to wing it home,
tell those that follow:
fallen bodies like ballots cast,
who kills more and kills
again, rules.
Tell those that fall
that martyrs lie
A nation is or isn't, but people dying

What the “last-seen” see
through gg ggags
and twitches… glazed scenes,
bucolic massacres
Zoomed out witness
Can't say what you see?
Bereaved/ bereft of words!
Put on a holy face
No eyes No lips. Clack those rabid
teeth and swallow, truth-teller,
blood giver,
The State
needs only one more transfusion
for you…
to bleed to death
with honor

- appeared in Kritya 9/05


Copyright @ 2001, 2002, 2004 by Wayne Amtzis. All Rights Reserved.