the dog of contention

When friends have gone to
Die, the pallid sun burns

Their teeth, and a hyena
Crowns the fist of maul.

Look back now, or not;
Does it matter that you


I have not evinced the dog
Of contention, the stone

That drags each mouthful of
Venison and artful melody

Toothed in arch sentiment
Of hard phalanges, trite


astride with bare filaments of
a toothed

day, alit with the mother of
earth, a

slit tooth, a blip away from

a ship away, aghast, aplombed
with fray.


I held the possibilities of the ancient as sacrosanct, and they lied.
bent the rules of time that
catch fire when upheld by
law, yet they lied. I spent
                            days and evenings and lanterns on unlit
                            pathways that spoke of an ancient rhyme,
yes they lied.

4 comments on “the dog of contention

  1. Lola Elvy says:

    I like ‘Does it matter that you / Were?’, and ‘were’ works so well on a line by itself, too.

    I also love the line ‘I held the possibilities of the ancient as sacrosanct, and they lied.’ Great. Also, in the line directly following, I like that ‘I’ stands alone on the line; it adds a strong personal voice and feeling: ‘this is *me*, *I* (‘bent the rules’…). Great ending, too; ‘yes they lied’.

    I just noticed that, for this whole time, I’m not even subscribed to your site; something I’ll have to look into, I think.

  2. huzaifazoom says:

    Thanks Lola. Always reassuring to know that those hunches and half-deliberate micro-decisions had an effect 🙂

  3. thotpurge says:

    They only lie if they lie in the context of their time… then they lie through their teeth… love the last line.

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