Valerie Lynn Stephens' Blog

Valerie Stephens

Valerie Stephens
Canton, Ohio, United States
June 06
Published poet, blogger at,, and many other incarnations...


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MAY 4, 2012 4:49PM

THE FRUIT OF THY TOMB (Dream International Quarterly)

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                             fruit of thy tomb poem art  





An overripe fruit falls to the ground

as rusted pages of coffee-stained Sanskrit

loosened from a fig tree, whirl whild, reckless, shimmying and free

up to the blackening skies

after knocking the fallen fruit into a barren cave

a snake pit that long ago served as a tomb

where only the living dwelt,

waiting to give death to birth.


A black crow nearby with a broken wing

descends upon the tiny, broken carcass

of a decomposing dove

as lightning flashes above frightening the crow away

where it seeks shelter beneath a weather-beaten bench

that was crafted by the callused hands

of a bearded man

with the flogged flesh of an ancient tree which stood,

bleeding sap near a plantation many storms ago.


Another rancid fruit falls to the ground

as a peal of thunder shakes the earth

and the dove, unravaged by the crow,

suddenly trembles and composes back to its state

of former animation,

as a rattlesnake winds its scaly body against a mossy rock

outside the barren cave,

shedding its skin in one shiver.


Suddenly the rusted pages of coffee-stained Sanskrit

emerge from the pit in the beak of the dove

as the snake, now strangulating the branch of the fig tree,

hisses and strikes at the wind

which has taken the form of a woman,

welded into the air by the smoking ashes of now incinerated pages,

feathers of a crow, and resurrected seeds

swirling up to the sky wild, joyous, shimmying and free.


The cores of the barren fruits hurl themselves

into the dark, moist womb of the tomb,

which still serves as a sactuary where withering serpents

gestate and dwell,

waiting to give birth to death.

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