A Pleasant Abduction ©

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written September 30th, 2006
(for Jan Saeger)

Listen here to my reading of “A Pleasant Abduction”

 

These disappearances are as ubiquitous
As they are vague, although each
Remembrance follows a by now familiar pattern.
For example, one becomes mesmerized by the sea,
By the intricacies of a forest,
Or by the globular, sacred shapes of sagacious stones.
Soon we note that a peculiar pallor
Enlarges a thickly layered grey and yellow sky.
And then comes that little fist-sized crick,
Like a sickly green lump, on our left side,
Just below the ribcage.  So, the memory returns.
Perhaps we were six or seven, the age when the depth
And the breadth of the sea applies not only
To fathomless waters, but also to leaves, to faces,
To animals running like mercury under glass.
We went missing for days, for weeks,
Itinerant workers were arrested for our murder,
Stock ponds were dragged for our corpses,
But suddenly, much to the authorities’
Irritated bafflement, we reappeared,
Well-fed and happy, in a remote cave,
In an abandoned farmhouse, or we are seen
Miraculously emerging from the sea,
Glittering, but dry.  Now, we are adults,
And, as the disclaimer cautions, “certain restrictions apply.”
But we saw them then, those numinous kidnappers.
We lived with their bright eyes and small, animated faces,
While their touch, like honey, sweetened our thin, bruised bodies.
We played with them there, in those depths,
Which once engulfed the whole of our childish lives,
And found us singing in a luminous ocean,
Free from the shallow squalors of Earth’s mad giants.

Maternity ©

By Roy Dean Doughty
March 20, 2006, Ananda Loka 3, India

Listen here to my reading of “Maternity”:

 

The dawn uncoils her peace with a silent,
A breathless ferocity, pouring streams of white
Down the igneous orchard rows, while she,
Lean, four-footed mother, stands patiently,
As her biting brood clamors beneath her.
Her pups know only their own convulsive hungers,
Their desires for food, for sex, their desire to give birth
To themselves, which she, as the milk-maker,
Gives first to one leaf, then another,
Then, in an orgy of uterine trembling,
As torch to driest tinder, she copiously feeds
Her whitest of white fires to all the children of the day.
The mountains stand sentinel to her tenderness,
As we, all fire ourselves, burn with the self-same ardor,
Living and dying our ten billion dramas
As if this divine conflagration were the most
Mundane of occurrences — which it is.
Now as the mother and child, the one fire in innumerable flames,
Fall sweetly down to ashes, the coil uncoiling,
The pups collapse into sleep,
And her ocean of flames becomes an ocean of honey.