Monday, January 26, 2015

Poem of the Day: “Lacertilia Regina” by David Kopaska-Merkel

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Lacertilia Regina” by David Kopaska-Merkel.  Mr. Kopaska-Merkel has written myriads of poems and stories since the 70s. He won the Rhysling award for best long poem in 2006 for a collaboration with Kendall Evans. He has written twenty-three books, of which the latest, a chapbook of speculative poetry, is SETI Hits Paydirt from Popcorn Press, http://www.popcornpress.com/seti-hits-paydirt/. Kopaska-Merkel has edited Dreams & Nightmares magazine since 1986 http://dreamsandnightmaresmagazine.blogspot.com/. Follow him on Twitter @DavidKM.

Lacertilia Regina
David Kopaska-Merkel

Her raddled face; honeyed lisps
rain scales with every sibilation,
stirring coigned dust devils
and reflected winks in that dark case,
carved by them as worshiped
the Lizard Queen.

Weather patterns shift, a coverlet of mold
greens & softens cities,
sinkholes suck markers into muck,
their inscriptions elide and flow
in the water-plunked caverns of the Newt,
vanish beneath draperies of crystal stone.

Papa's got a new god,
Newt glistens in the halls of veneration,
sticky blinks pass sentence
on transgressors, the monster's
four-toed manus descends
oh so heavily upon wrong-doers.

Mama doesn't make that scene,
she's moved to a higher plain;
in a cool dry windswept temple
Lacertilia is reborn;
slit-pupil serenity
speaks with forked tongue,
obsidian knives drink, remember,
chants wake the moon,
sand snakes sidle; we are called.

Poet's Notes:  I recently completed a non-fiction book about a 300-million-year-old fossil site most noted for abundant reptile and amphibian footprints http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/face/Article.jsp?id=h-1371. I was thinking about the differences, and the tales of reptilian gods, and thought: amphibians deserve their turn.

Editor’s Note:  I love the sibilance in this one and had to look up fewer words than usual for one of Mr. Kopaska-Merkel’s poems.

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