7 October 2015

Judas and the Sanhedrin

Did Judas kiss Jesus as they say just to betray him?
The Pharisees and the Romans knew not who Jesus
was, so when evening approached and they were sick
and tired of that bloke who drew multitudes to him,
and unto whom the people of Galilee were attracted,
they sent a message to Judas and promised him cash
if he could point out the son of man to them. Thirty
gleaming shekels; and they asked their messenger
to be sure to dangle the bag and jangle the coins
before his eyes. Judas was fucked, for he liked money,
and although when alone away from the troupe
he would sometimes visit the local amusement scene,
he had a good heart. The guy found him drinking
at a bar, and subsequently left him there, struggling
with his feelings. Judas thought of kissing Thomas
instead, to mislead the Pharisees, but when night came
he walked the short distance up the mount to where
people were already milling about, and kissed Jesus
on the lips, smiled, and kissed him a second time,
after which he ran off to hurl that money of shame
back at the people who had given it to him, removed
his belt, and hanged himself on a low-lying branch.

5 October 2015


A sound beats the skin of my heart's concern.
Is it a song of life, and is its voice the count
of how much time I have been here, alive,
making forests and cutting them down, so vile
in the sun, under straw hats on the heads of my people
planting cotton shrubs and ripping their heads off
as this world, and all that is in it, tried to shrug us
away? That sound says: your worries are a fuel of me,
sit tight now because we're shifting into seventh gear.
And my head can hear those cogs grinding in there,
while the devil and his missus on a sofa sit grinning.
The axle of my body turning on itself when its work
is to hold bones together into a skeleton. I'm a stone
now, I keep the secrets of my heart in, as a furnace
keeps heat in and consumes its old self. O world,
stay your hands from me, stay your heart, because
this sound will sometimes slow down, as a stone
in a brook; and it can rest there, where hearts
of all the birds around it sing and get their ribs
singed by their own song, and little butterflies
flap wings in pursuit of a pheromone. O, I can
stay in there, or I can leap out and bite or gut
your hand with the stove of my heart, like the line
of a horizon fired by a sun pursuing its dawn.

4 October 2015


Last night's blood moon came, then went,
leaving us like a bunch of jilted brides
stranded at the altar. It was red, and also rusty
with the high tide, like a dream in oxidation,
the standard link of bodies on a rhapsody.
Death that the early scientist meant with words
his committee archived inside the belly of Rome.
And there we were, ready for rapture to a rented room
in a Motel 6, willing, like Isaac, like a thousand
immaculate virgins whose lamps have gone out.
I thought of Einstein, of Kepler and of all masters
whose world bends and falls. I thought of me
inside a lost, irritable earth. It was just a moon,
but no thought stayed from it, not one mantra
nor the preaching of men to hold it down,
or make it stop. In the minutes that shadowed it
as it floated across, the caveman resuscitated,
circling a fire and moaning, like only he could,
how last night’s blood moon came and went; left;
till all was almost deathly, then ashen, and turned
the corner of day to update us on how we will be
in the time behind all absence from our world.

~by Joyce Ellen Davis and Rethabile Masilo

27 September 2015

One of my memories is that you returned

with a bullet in the middle of yourself,
explaining how days should never be trusted
with a secret, how it was clear the sun no longer
shone with feeling. And so I told the future
it was great, and would it remain in the world.
“We will waste no more of your time,” I said.
But it just smiled with its grey eyes and looked
away, for it knows death is a gruesome business
that hits when one is down. Its stillness
is like air. Even if life is knowing your body
will always be as calm as the mind of a sea,
which may rise in anger only to simmer down—
what two tell each other is a matter for them,
when talking about what shadow they will need,
afterwards, when death has found them out.