Two Poems — Poetry by Brandon Marlon

 The Shaping Hand

In our collective nescience

we desperately grope,

constellating desultory tesserae

into a mosaic of understanding,

or minimally a simulacrum

fraught with plausible assumptions.


Impeding this lifelong work-in-progress

are myriad extrinsic forms,

addling and beguiling,

apparently part of a cosmic camarilla

frustrating innocent yearnings

and responsible for the uncertainty

uncharitably acerbating mortal lives.


Guided by logic, we rashly forgo

fanciful conjectures of imagination,

spurning conceits uncushioned

by empirical warrants,

apprehensive of renegade

instincts running contrary to reason.


All the same, each starry night

invites speculation, stirring wonder

as we skim the welkin overhead

for the faintest signs of a polestar

or architectonic seams exposed,

longing to glimpse the hidden dint,

undying and transcendent,

the suspected presence behind the absence.



Courtyard Fountain

As sand drifts into dunes,

we wend along the tortuous

course in lockstep with the daystar,

our gullets torrid, our grume curdling,

hinting at careless scrapes,

announcing our bone-weariness

to the wheeling birds of prey

we pretend not to notice

while we push-push-push onward,

ovened by the overhead orb,

remorseless and deaf to appeal.

Ghoul-like, we lurch bedraggled

into a spavined maidan,

greeted by pitiless glares,

surrounded by the self-absorbed

bustle of canopied hawkers and mongers

garbed in turban, tarboosh, and burnoose,

wheedling and wangling in fulfillment

of their richly deserved reputations.

In the umbra ahead a pensive caid

pores over a fatwa from Al-Azhar;

beside us mules moisten in slough

and creeping crocodiles vie for gristle

to satisfy the capacity of obscene maws.

From a distance a stocky innkeeper

beckons us into his midst,

cogently gesturing toward

ablutions and libations,

to the inviting environs of a spouting pool,

for sore eyes and sapped limbs

the finest sight this side of heaven.



© Brandon Marlon

Brandon Marlon is a writer from Ottawa, Canada. He received his B.A. (Hon.) in Drama and English from the University of Toronto and his M.A. in English from the University of Victoria. His poetry has been published variously in Canada, the U.S., England, Greece, Romania, Israel, and India.

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