mantra review

Fall 2018


Land in the Name of Taking

we harden in the arms
of faith. barbed wire fingers.
stone faces. rebar ribcages.
everything I know about honour
is buried in the ground. even
tonight while I make dreams
missiles are making music in
the skies over Gaza. forged
absolution from an air strike.
silence stacks silence on the
rubble and remains. blood
crawls through the streets.
men burn calories for war.
God’s figurines lay expendable
in his sandbox. not one chosen
among others, lifted by his hands
pulled beyond the clouds.

Sadism as Prayer

horsemen rode into ground disappeared into clouds of blood and hooves
the sun shrieked a siren of earth broke into tremor and tore sinew from muscle
beasts of a thousandfold erupted enveloped light we knelt for light the light
we braced for scorn and scourge ceremonial affliction debasement abandonment
appointed sacrifices amidst our bygone memories of song we scraped the sky
with our hands scoured the surviving fruit pleaded the beasts to have mercy
as if perchance they hungered for clemency the beasts only licked themselves
summoned a brief suspension from their pilgrimage of puritanical hellfire
alone in attendance god showered in wine the tears and screams distilled for him

Aidan Chafe is the author of the poetry collection Short History of Light (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2018). He has also published two chapbooks Right Hand Hymns (Frog Hollow Press, 2017) and Sharpest Tooth (Anstruther Press, 2016). His poetry has appeared in a number of print and online journals in both Canada and the U.S. He lives in Burnaby, BC.

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