Three Poems by Robert Beveridge

Aegagros, Bathing

“I am confused not knowing whether it is pornography/or beauty that is depicted on her raiment” — Ivan Argüelles, Opium (the perfume)

This landscape, its gentle hills
and light scrub                     draws

another moment this illicit
sketch of bodies, ferns
another few seconds will finish it

birds fly on, not trapped
in spiders’ webs
lie down, sleep
in the demented sadness
of licorice poppy fields

a shot in the distance

how the beautiful beautiful moonlight
flows down the mountainside
like tangles of bronze hair
that gleam blonde where caught by the moon

recent rain slick the brush drips
down from curls from branches
from swollen lips
that partake of plums and cream

what heat there is!
even in this blessed darkness
the temperature is too high

the hills, the hollows
wash themselves together
touch of moonlight sparkles
sends shards of light
into the landscape
kinetic, dynamic, tactile

what we all would give
to hold that light

it plays over you
o landscape
hills and mountains
and the glory of hair
and rain and bush
and swollen beauty


The sin-eater’s feast stretched
the entire banquet table before
you. Your fingers atoms away
from the barest morsel, infinity
never so close. Priest carves
a quince, pops a morsel
onto his tongue. You know
another homily is on its way.

How did it come to this? The cat
in the plastic, the rooms painted
with Vantablack, isolation speared
like a teriyaki swordfish on the end
of your cigarette. Douse the cherry
before it goes out the window,
only you can prevent forest
fires. Or maybe you didn’t.

You demand your one phone
call again — there must be
a Howard Johnson’s around here
that delivers — but again you are
denied. The priest opens
his thickest bible, settles
in to deliver another one
on Isaiah 58:10. The memory
of your belly growls in anticipation.

War Hero

The old man
picked up a swagger
when drunk,
an old war
hero remembering
what World War
Two was like.
“War,” he’d say,
“war is hell,
an’ you better pray,
boy, you
never have to fight
for your country.”
We never knew
his name, always
just called him hero.
He’d swagger around,
a beer-pirate with a mug
for a sword and memories
for a gun.

Robert Beveridge makes noise ( and writes poetry in Akron, OH, USA. Recent/upcoming appearances in COG, OUT/CAST, and Up the River, among others.

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