Tuesday 26 January 2021

Five Poems by Kurt Newton


Triptych: The Watchman's Tower


I. The Watcher


Who watches the Watcher,

sitting in the Watchman's Tower,

huddled over crib notes

etched into his skin—

a fingerful means trouble,

a palm's worth spells doom—

adding up the tally

with a glowing, gleeful grin?

I, said the Fly,

mounted on the wall behind,

a barb through each ankle,

twin needles to hold its wings.


II. The No Ones


Down below, the No Ones dwell

in crusted catacombs,

their bellies aching for deliverance

from their dark and dusty tomb.

The time has come—a chosen one.

They gather while the Watcher sleeps

to chant The Song of Reckoning.

A rumble cracks the catacomb,

a flutter of wings escapes unseen.

While down below,

the chosen one

lies belly up,

a circle of blood and afterbirth

soaks into the floor.


III. The Harbinger


In hunger born,

its wings still blessed

with the blood of the divine,

the Harbinger flies

once, then twice,

encircling the Watchman's Tower.

A third time and it's done.

Huddled, the Watcher fails to notice

the Fly, no longer pinned behind,

has grown a beak and feathered wings

and talons sharp as skin is soft

with a message for the blind.



The Village Pond


The villagers gathered

on Winter's eve

at the village pond.

Axes hefted in their hands

they formed a circle,

they sang their hymns,

they called forth initiates

to be the first

to penetrate

the virgin crystal mantle

beneath their feet.


A winter stillness

stung the air.

Some hung their heads

and mumbled prayers

between chapped lips,

then three times fell

the axes down

in a joyous burst

that spread the warmth

upon the ice,

down between

each fissured crack,

down to feed

the silent frozen one



Winter came

the following day.

But as the havoc spread

across the land,

the villagers

slept in peace.

They'll have all winter

to decide

who will be

the chosen ones

to initiate

the pond with life

come the eve of Spring.



to the dogs


with feet deformed

we tiptoe

carrying trays of slaughtered meat


ignore the smell

it is just our skins

crumpled loose about our ankles


the meat is for

the canines

who bear a close resemblance


we hurry as they

nip our heels

their eyes upon dessert



woman in a hutch


held inside the rabbitry

she huddles close against the wire

each month they harvest hair and eggs

and leave her naked in the cold


at night she hears the singing

of the basket-weaver's song

and dreams of chocolate covered strangers

drowning in excelsior beds


one day she finds the cage left open

and fights against the muscle cramps

she leaps to freedom her neckline tearing

upon the ragged wire latch


they hear her squeals of agony

and come running in their Sunday best

to paint the eggs with pastel colors

and practice with their carving knives





Inebriates swim the tide pool shallows

alone in soft-shelled yellow skins.

With briny eyes like blood-dabbed baubles,

they wait for the high tide liquid swell.


In pairs, they ride the waves that swallow

to writhe above the stones below,

forgetful of the tide that tumbles,

killing quick the thickening spine.


Back into the low tide hollows,

floating sick with gills of green,

alone their skins return to yellow,

their eyes upon the tide above.


"Triptych: The Watchman's Tower" was originally published in Cenotaph, 1997
"The Village Pond" was originally published in Cenotaph, 1999
"to the dogs" was originally published in Dreams and Nightmares, 1998
"woman in the hutch" was originally published in Dreams and Nightmares, 1999
"Inebriates" was originally published in Fantasque, 1999

Kurt Newton - All rights on the poems have long since reverted back to me. In fact,
only Dreams and Nightmares is still publishing.

As you can see, I've been a published poet for quite some time. My
poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies over the past
twenty-five years, including Weird Tales, Space and Time, Eye to the
Telescope and Spectral Realms.

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