Fourteenth Year

“In the Fourteenth Year the Man with the Roses Came to Me and Said”, “Performer” and “Examination of a Morning Three Days After an Autumn Wedding”

In Poetry by Edwin Wentworth

In the Fourteenth Year the Man with the Roses Came to Me and Said

“Bair The Child on your shoulders well,

wrap piano wire around her tiny wrists

and smear coal on the bottom of her soft fast feet.

Dust her with brooms and check all her first numbers.

Dye her shoulders gold and crown her with cold hammered brass.

During your short walk west pick and carry a stone

to the feet of The Mother.

Tear the leaves off the trees you pass

and think on the days when you were laden with a pack

heavy with marble and trees.

Think on the days when your dog ran to you

across acres of snowy caves.

Remember to apply sugar to your tongue

and tongue the swollen salt filled parts

that climbing trees and seeing far has left

on your tan and tawny body.

Go and wrap you up,

go and sweat into the earth.

The clocks have stopped so wind them back

and swing your shattered mountains high above your head.

Your Ozarks,

your Winged Dancing Traveler,

your Snake in the Tree Stump are waiting for you

to slowly lid your eyes and come softly tramping back to them

across their fields of frozen wheat.

Let them all be lovers,

and in the course of the river there will be

a hunched and shining snag.

Go to her and beg at her roots that the world shall be well trod

and like the dirt paths that feet make,

draw us ever onward.”

Performer

He stood adjusting on the small white pedestal

Waiting for the lamb eyed crowd to bend their knees and soften

Their breath.

Looking out he weighed the gold that was still heavy in his heart,

Felt its warmth in his palm as he prepared to cast it into the

shining sea.

He loved and was loved as he gently sank his fingers into that

Small and Beautiful near his feet.

Her eyes wide she dipped as he slowly broke her bones,

And with mortar and pestle

Ground her to dust.

The green-eyed spectators stomped their feet in envy

As one by one they breathed her in

And then

Melting

They curled their toes and smeared on the floor

Whatever they had been before.

He comes walking through the riotous masses

Head bared

With eyes on fire

Dripping gold from his fingers into all of their open eyes

And leaves through the door he came in.

Ecstatic.

Examination of a Morning Three Days After an Autumn Wedding

The mess from days past is still scattered

around this sun-drenched autumn porch.

The ashtrays and whisky glasses brim filled with rainwater have,

every morning now,

Heard the playful screams of distant children and the sudden

silence of a newly mown lawn.

Fallen leaves blow into flat candle puddles

and the maple keys and cigarette butts

rest together in the old stone barbecue.

I too have been left here

among the broken wine corks and empty plates

so that I can listen to the hurried squirrels chatter as they end

their harvest.

About the Author

Edwin Wentworth

Edwin Wentworth is a twenty something queer poet from a small, cold town in Southern Ontario. Raised by travelling Shakespearean actors his work is strongly influenced by classical works and queer identity, while striving not to be solely defined by them. Edwin attempts to tell the truth in all that he writes and invites readers to engage in an earnest dialogue unclouded by irony or cynicism. Edwin has, so far, been published in Soliloquies Anthology out of Montreal.