“Red Castles,” “Falling” and “Grit”

Issue 52 by Igor Kojadinovic

“Red Castles,” “Falling” and “Grit”

Red Castles

An angry goat fronts

the entrance of the trail –

an unfamiliar gatekeeper.

Payment is an exchange

of glances, a thousand

yards to nowhere.

He steps behind an old

trustworthy cedar that

hasn’t moved in 500 years.

No man touches these

granite walls, only gods

and white-crowned sparrows.

I hear them chirping in

the canopy, and I pray for

them to guide me home.

An emerald sea runs up

along the trail, lined with

junipers and mountain ash.

I’m led to a scar in the

mountainside – thousands

of trees marred by fire.

Through the char I see

the expanse of tundra

and stop to write a few words.

The summit is within view

and the whistling of wind

is soothing white noise.

Snow falls in perfect crystals

in my hand and I begin to

fill my pockets with them.

There is only the moon now,

singing her Aphroditic melody

in the paleness of the night.

Falling

Blackness takes the sky.

There’s a burning in the distance—

it too will be overcome.

Such is the nature of these things,

passing of days like the breath of God.

Man obscures himself.

In the trickle of rain

I heed myself in a puddle,

a reflection ebbing among the droplets.

How I would speak with

who looks back at me.

His voice,

Sharp as a dark green thorn.

Reaching inward,

I am pierced by the ether.

Cold hands with wet, waxen fingers,

at any moment, pulling with the strength

of one close to death yet

clinging to life.

In the holy chasm,

I hear a voice

humming divinities.

I have always been here,

and never at all.

Grit

How long must I drive this hammer into this pin

before it breaks the Earth?

Does she not see my tent flapping in the wind

and cigarette ashes floating into my eyes?

I’ve been lame since that fall on Olympia years ago,

and this goddamned leg can fall off and become

one with the dirt for all I care.

The wind howls at my impatience,

and I wail back into her.

She cracks the pines and my stomach goes hollow.

I feel light.

Like I did when I was twenty-six,

and she told me she loved me.

Black clouds shoulder their way through the trees.

I drop my hammer and pins into nothingness,

find a seat against a spruce, and open my flask.

About the Author

Igor Kojadinovic

Igor Kojadinovic is a Serbian poet and philosophy student. Born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, he was relocated to the United States, where he has worked as a firefighter and paramedic for the last five years. He currently attends The University of Central Florida and is pursuing his B.A. in philosophy.