About Mikels Skele

Poet. Explainer. Foreigner-at-large.

The faithful depart

You have given us like sheep for eating
And scattered us among the heathen.
Psalm 44

Out here, no stars for guidance
No hope for subsistence
The sky meets the open sea
Searching for a horizon

Out here, the wail of utter
Lack of direction
Of pointlessness
Seems absurdly redundant

Whatever happened
To the long ago gamble
That pushed us here
So vainly game?

The compass needle swings
Madly from one point
To the next, oblivious,
Wanton, unable, unwilling

And yet, we’re such dogs
As lap up the small gifts
We find on the wayside
Imagining meanings for them all

Our lips cannot form
The word “sever”
Our hearts cannot forgive
The love you bore us

Our souls cannot grasp
Your cruel mercy

This poem first appeared in this blog 12/7/14.  It was inspired by a passage from Gildas’ De Excidio et Conquestu Britannie, written in 540 CE. It describes the slaughter and deprivation of Britons at the hands of Saxons after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.  Ironically, the earlier barbarians had become Roman Britons, and now viewed the Saxon invaders with the same revulsion they had suffered at the hands of the Romans.

The poet as scold

I do read your work, telling me
to be a decent sort, which politician
to love, which to despise,
how one kind of suffering
is better than another, or one
rude remark worse than another.
The ponderance presses relentlessly,
huge pendulous images of right thinking,
until I no longer feel I own my own
uncertainty, that my heart can so much as
break without first checking your litany.
Father, forgive me, for I have sinned.
Now I must be on my way or miss
the chance to do it again.

There is no now

Change is our native land,
Our birthright, and yet,
We cling to a past like
An old winter coat,
Threadbare, stained, useless,
Well into summer, to keep,
I suppose, from disappearing
Altogether.

Our so-called future, bright,
Burning, always impending,
Half beautiful, half terrifying,
Like sunlight slowly creeping
Toward our vampire lives.

Who said it was going to be easy?