War Paint

Some poetry exploring psycho-adolescence and the lessons taught from our wilds. 


War Paint

Boy stripes face
Deeply with color
Lathered thick and slanting

He bursts outside through
Frail screen door
Heart tha da da dumping
Like battle drum phantoms
Scouring hilltop mist moist

How else can I respond
But to fight them

Gnashed teeth spitting curses
Under breath
Fireflies for eyes
Boy fists rosebush battleax
Knuckled grip bleeding

Charging up the hill
He screams He hates He burns
Infantries of grass
Part not for this
Commitment to carnage

But the enemy needs to die

When Boy finally reaches
The front lines the edge
All he finds is water
No ghouls no fire-heaving monsters
No fanged Krampus

Just water
Just placid hydroglass
Just him and Pond

War paint coagulant
Alchemizes with
Sweat and sorrow
Refractive confusion
Chest rising chest falling like
Leavened bread

Where are you
Boy’s murderous voice
Fires sonic blanks in search
Of Other

Stripping his clothes ripping
Boy hangs bleached underwear
Upon caribou antler velvet
And wades into Pond

War paint begins cascading
Preamble to rainstorm
Drips Drops Drips Drops
Technicolor tear after tear
Warbler yellow and cobalt blue
Fireball red
Breached levee
Of swollen eyelid

And he collapses
He descends
Beneath Pond mirroring
A young wiry composite
Heaped of bone and fat
Muscle and wound

Surrendered implosion

When Boy finally resurfaces
He has pond scum for hair
Lily pads for ears
Cattail spike for a nose
And minnows for lips

The war paint is gone

So Boy leaves his old clothes
Abandons underwear hanging
Scribbling obey into
Wind’s outstretched palm

He walks on all fours
With his cattail nose
His scummy hair
His lily ears
And his fishy lips

Back down the hill
Through grass infantries
Raising their blades high
In wild solidarity

Back home
Naked Light Free


2 thoughts on “War Paint

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