Women I’ve failed or wronged or left behind
Approach my thoughts like zombies for the kill;
I’ve literary walled defences – still,
Given the chance, they’ll eat my brains, my mind.
Through forest, orchard, farmyard in decay,
A shadow of a wolf slips greyly in,
My thoughts of death, grim, wasted, ill, rib-thin,
Tracking my weak resolve, hungry to slay.
Mountaintops blown apart, forests clear-cut,
Where’s there to hide? Nature doesn’t exist;
Her landscapes crushed in patriarchal fist.
This former farmland hides my ruined hut.
Impotent, I still write, thus giving birth
To future wolves and zombies of the earth.
What on earth triggered this sonnet 15 years ago? I have no idea. What’s it really about? Well, it seems the volta between the octave and the sestet moves the narrative from purely personal regrets to our current planetary destruction. More than that, I can’t say. Your suggestions are welcome!
Anyway, the poem was published in that now-defunct British beacon of formal verse, Candelabrum.