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Contributor Series 11: On Birthdays, Once upon a primal scream


07.09.12 Posted in Contributor Series 11, words to linger on by

Contributor Series 11: On Birthdays
Once upon a primal scream
By Christopher Roe

Suspended in a zen-like state
of warm, dark and moist silence

   — silent —

except for a slow, steady, muffled
insistent yet distant drum beat
reverberating through his body
stirring his primitive soul with 
its familiar comforting rhythm.

And he was thoroughly content 
to let his existence unfold

   — slowly —

as he floated through the months
of his awareness.

And so it went until the pain began.

The first warning was the 
rhythm of the drumbeat

   — quickening —

then his world trembled
and convulsed in quick spasms
rudely thrusting him from 
the security of his darkened cave 
into an unfamiliar brightness
that tore at his eyes.

A knife cut him and he was hung

   — upside down —

and slapped sharply 
forcing a primal scream 
from the toothless grimace 
of his mouth.

And he knew instinctively

   — instinctively —

he knew that his life would 
never be the same 
after his birth.

Christopher Roe’s most recent poem to appear here was In Vermeer’s Light (May 2012).




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