About Mikels Skele

Poet. Explainer. Foreigner-at-large.

A sky, unbroken

I sit under the unbroken sky
baby blue, no jet trails
and think of other days
so like this, a longing ago
when everything was alive
with wonder, when the sun

meant promise and possibility.
Under the unbroken sky, I sit
pining for the occasional cloud,
wishing up, as they say, a storm,
a world in my head
awaiting its cue.

How swiftly came the killing season

This first appeared in Exileschild 11/22/16. Strange how poetry adapts to its context.

How swiftly came the killing season
swept in from hinterlands
just when we had remarked upon
the sameness of it all.

How soon the must-not-be-named
became quotidian.
Weren’t we standing there,
thinking how wise it was

to not raise a ruckus
about minor disturbances,
how preferable to simply
turn our backs to the foul wind?

What good will be our platitudes
tomorrow?

Between the sacred and the profane

Between the sacred and the profane
there is not a sliver of difference.
We are luminous, we are crude,
we are crudely luminous, we

spill our lives into the sharp
vessel of time without a stray
moment left behind, without
an inch of depth undisturbed,

unperturbed, benighted as a breeze
in Hell, which, if we only knew it,
is Heaven held upside down to
let us trickle into new carnation.

Bah! I’m tired of this twaddle
of infinite souls to the manor
of eternity borne. The least is the best
of us, and the grandest star in the cosmos

destroys itself for our amusement.
The joke is that we are made of it.

Once I saw Ozymandias

There, in a glass case
in the Cairo Museum
lay Rameses II, who imagined
that all who looked upon
his works would despair.

Desiccated, a shrunken pith
of a man, he reminded me
of nothing else but
the last slab of salted cod
at the closing of the market,
unsold.

Despair, indeed, my king,
but not the way you imagined.

Awakening

To say my father loved Jesus
is as wrong as saying he feared him.
To him, Jesus was a landlord,
a creditor, someone owed a debt,
which, left unpaid, would end in pain,

not only justified but welcomed,
insisted upon, and in the great
tradition of the spawn of Yahweh,
pass on to children and their children,
the unwanted and unearned burden of birthright.

Good morning, says the baptist, and
slaps you on the butt. It’s time
to be fitted for your chains.