Mount Belles

By Woodhouse, Jena | Hecate, January 1, 2005 | Go to article overview

Mount Belles


Woodhouse, Jena, Hecate


1.

Trafficking - a bird's-eye view

Your restless, telescopic eye

scans northern mountains' knuckled spines,

where women move across the scree

like puppets on slack wires.

Searching for stray ewes, a shepherd

finds a young girl at his feet,

folded between sheets of snow

as if in seamless sleep.

They come like lambs to abbatoirs,

fleeing the haunted, hungry east,

drawn across gaunt passes

by false harbingers of warmth and peace.

They come dressed in their village best,

the wings that speed them to the west

their misplaced dreams of liberty and plenty,

not this random death.

2.

The Ascent

You watch them as they move towards the trees:

mostly they are women, invariably young,

who seem to glow against the sombre green -

perhaps it's hope, the spirit of such journeys,

that makes them flare and flicker in the twilit

forest aisles, like candles against dim cathedral choirs,

until they are extinguished from your view.

To manage the next sighting you must soar

above the scree, imagining eyelashes turned

to stalactites, and tears to ice. …

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