Tropical Rubric


Mark Andrew Holmes


The sun sets.


The smoke is trapped within the house; no escape.

Hamlet enters his dark times.

"To exist, or not to…"

Song, glad mourning—cats are thrown off roofs.


The sun rises.

The lid lifts.

Smoke rises from the chimney.

Song, glad morning—herbs and capons are cooked.

Young ones are born.


The cave entrance.

Mummies and skeletons hidden in the foliage, bedecked in rotting leather, decaying batik and feathers

And a plethora of jewelry, the precious metal and gems obscured, protected, by moss.

Guarding the mouth of the caverns

High upon the sheer face of the towering cliff,

Gazing out with empty eye sockets upon the endless green hell below,

They sit.

Effigies of forgotten gods in lichen, granite and jade

Stare out hauntingly, eerily, from the shadows

Where green ghostlight flickers like vomited radioactive pea soup;

Hidden from the oppression of sunlight and probing eyes,

Ancestors gather in huddled mute conclave—

Listening, not to be forgotten.

Meanwhile, gaudy iridescent exotic birds caw, and monkeys chatter, in the jungle trees,

In the insect-buzzing saunalike heat.

© 2004 by Mark Andrew Holmes.

Go Back