Robert S. King

 

The Ghosts of Machu Picchu

 

Abandoned here, the only voices

are ancient wind and echoes,

both howling through streets

and temples, observatories

and grass plazas. Here the past

is sown in secret along the garden

terrace rows. The echoes sound

like versions of a truth

not told by blood but by its absence,

not by war but by the state of ruins.

 

Maybe these bouncing voices are ghosts

unable to leave until they chant warning

of how ties break and nations fall.

If not war, did a plague of gravity

and disease lower their bodies to the valley

where came the clang and clatter

of bearded men seeking gold, riding

beasts, shooting fire and smoke

from their long fingers?

 

Even from flesh long gone, ancestral spirits

still may taste their Incan blood, may

remember why they bowed to white gods

and bit their tongues, may keep the secret

buried in the wind of why the long knives

climbed to the top, found no gold

beyond sunlight and absence

behind these highest walls.

Robert S. King, a native Georgian, now lives in Lexington, Kentucky USA. His poems have appeared in hundreds of magazines, including California Quarterly, Chariton Review, Hollins Critic, Kenyon Review, Lullwater Review, Main Street Rag, Midwest Quarterly, Negative Capability, Southern Poetry Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review. He has published four chapbooks: When Stars Fall Down as Snow, Garland Press 1976; Dream of the Electric Eel, Wolfsong Publications 1982; The Traveller’s Tale, Whistle Press 1998; and Diary of the Last Person on Earth, Sybaritic Press, 2014). His full-length collections are: The Hunted River and The Gravedigger’s Roots, both in 2nd editions from FutureCycle Press, 2012; One Man's Profit from Sweatshoppe Publications, 2013; and Developing a Photograph of God from Glass Lyre Press, 2014. Robert’s work has been nominated several times for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of Net award. He is editor-in-chief of Kentucky Review (www.kentuckyreview.org).

Poetry

NewBanner1

Deep Water Literary Journal

2015 - Issue 2 - August

 

 

Welcome

 

Elizabeth Bodien (USA)

All Souls' Night

 

Chanel Brenner (USA)

Back at the El Encanto Twenty Years Later

 

Claire Vogel Camargo (USA)

Touching the Edge of Darkness

 

Saddiq Dzukogi (Nigeria)

Descend

 

S.E. Gale (Australia)

The Reliquary

 

Gary Glauber (USA)

In Philippa’s Hands

Invention

Jeremiad

 

Clare Hepworth-Wain (England)

To mark her passing

 

Strider Marcus Jones (England)

The Two Saltimbanques

 

Robert S. King (USA)

Inside a Photograph

The Ghosts of Machu Picchu

 

Steve Klepetar (USA)

almost from the first

If It Comes to That

 

Ron. Lavalette (USA)

Eurydice

 

Sada Malumfashi (Nigeria)

Petrocalypse

 

Rasmenia Massoud (France)

Ghosts in My Skin

Open Mike Night

 

Catfish McDaris (USA)

Gone Amazon

Soldier Blues

 

Pat J Mullan (Ireland)

Mother Perfection

 

Christine Murray (Ireland)

bind

bind.

 

Heather Mydosh (USA)

Unsaleable

 

Caleb J. Oakes (USA)

Extended Forms of Hunger

Frown For Me

 

David O’Neill (Ireland)

Decisions in the Dark Room

 

Rachel C. Peters (USA)

Heroin

 

Mark Antony Rossi (USA)

This Ancient City

Transatlantic Transfiguration

 

Walter Ruhlmann (France)

Distorted Echo

The Lips of the Wolf

 

John Saunders (Ireland)

Murphy is Out for the Summer

 

Terry Savoie (USA)

Buttermilk Poem

 

Larry Schug (USA)

As If We Were Not Brothers

 

Pepper Swell (USA)

Cold Fury

 

The Man in the Black Pyjamas (Ireland)

Numbers