Three Dark Poems by Peter Michael Bush: “Fear in the Eyes of the Crocodile”, “First…Serial…Rites”, and “Blood in the Sycamores”

Three Dark Poems by Peter Michael Bush: “Fear in the Eyes of the Crocodile”, “First…Serial…Rites”, and “Blood in the Sycamores”, The Chamber Magazine
Fear in the Eyes of the Crocodile
Give me the time, 
I will tell you of fear 
in the eyes of the crocodile- 
Black and lifeless, 
Summing up, stalking 
While frozen in terror I stand 
My son falls into 
Brackish water 
And takes, does the crocodile, my boy. 
 
My arms they flail, 
They beat about on 
Water’s cold dead face; 
Parting the deep, 
Revealing small children, 
And surrounding them, the crocodiles, 
Their bodies long 
Twisting slow in the ice.  
 
So, I carry these children 
Across, one dying step at a time; 
Yet, still I sense 
The crocodile’s black eyes 
On me damning, hunting, burning 
Me with this hate; 
Promising me that, 
Come the spring, he will find us again. 
My boy clings fast 
To my freezing body 
as we make our way across 
 
Evil waters 
To stare, time and again, 
Into hungry, black, lifeless eyes.
First…Serial…Rites
Blood, pitter patter, at right angles 
From his chin to the floor falling. 
Perfect circles. Perfect circles. 
Naked body splayed out before him- 
Science pig opened up, pinned down, 
Strewn about for present eyes to see. 
And the blood, the blood, squeezed like juice 
From some unnamable piece of flesh 
Gripped tightly between his fingers. 
The cherry popped, a virgin no more 
With no fear, life no longer a dream; 
But a fantasy to be revealed, to be 
Reveled in, basked in, rolled in, bathed in 
This metallic, coppery taste 
Spilled in a surreal train of pictures 
Later to endlessly be replayed: 
Uncomfortable fumbling, discomfort, 
Unknowing fear lending to panic; 
Pain and torture, torture and pain… 
Gurgling, disbelieving death; 
But the money shot: so like God: 
Power, control, reality’s master. 
An experience so vivid, 
The memories, the film - a promise 
That next time would be all the sweeter. 

Blood in the Sycamores
Between Noodle Dome and Stink Creek 
Out where our fathers hunted squirrels, 
Dead in the middle of Crater Wash 
Hard in the night, the moon waning 
Headlights blaze white over mud flats. 
 
Blood in the sycamores tonight 
Splatters wet, crying out innocent.      
Where we go, men were not meant to dwell. 
 
Hearts grow shocking cold in ugly work. 
Hands ill-prepared for wicked measures 
Blister on the rough skin of shovels 
Digging deep before the sun rises 
Dead in the middle of Crater Wash. 
                                     
Blood in the sycamores this morning 
Dried to black circles on fading leaves 
Made witness to passions of fallen men. 
 
Time rolls on in floods flowing over the Wash, 
Erases markers of makeshift graves 
Where ghosts reside now forgotten. 
Rumors once strong slowly drift away,  
Make secret what the stars have seen. 
 
Blood in the sycamores always 
Accusing from beyond the silent,  
Penitent men unforgiven. 
 
What we have done, what we have chosen 
Lies indelible in the record: 
A thorn gone festered in my mind 
For that night on Crater Wash. 
Between Noodle Dome and Stink Creek 
             
There is blood in the sycamores. 

Peter Michael Bush is a mental health therapist in rural South Georgia. He spends his free time writing, editing and pondering his own existential dread. He has been involved with powerlifting for over thirty years and has been writing for longer than that. Pete has completed three novels but considers himself a poet first as that is where all of these high jinks began. His work has been published in AlbatrossThe Poet’s PenDream Fantasy InternationalThe Florida Times Union, Independent InkMidwest Literary MagazineThe Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and Anatomy.   


One thought on “Three Dark Poems by Peter Michael Bush: “Fear in the Eyes of the Crocodile”, “First…Serial…Rites”, and “Blood in the Sycamores”

  1. Pingback: The Chamber Magazine

Leave a Reply