Aabye's Baby
Today we trail-walk, shuffle through hot ash and
cinder. Slow-coiling sulphur fumes sour our throats
and still-smouldering lava skulks inches under our
footprints. Kilauea killed to build this desert,
black as Pele's spaced-out eyes, as a speleologist's
stone-domed heaven, as our dispossessed god - and
as misunderstood. We could die here, buried inside
this burnt-out forest. We feel old enough, skin-thin
and laced with deep cracks most of them hidden.

Under a sunproofed sky drifting spoors and seeds
settle, suck up sweet rainwater. Pale leaves open,
frail roots uncurl green as an ecologist's manifesto,
as a politician's pocket, as the overwrought god
we bought to fill the void. We belong here. This
mountain, like our marriage, is hot-wired for seismic
activity. All day we explore, exposing heat-sensitive
film to lava tubes and steaming crevices waiting
for a fault to open, for fire to break through,
to burn...

                                 ...footscorched, we follow
Devastation Trail back to our rent-a-car. I stumble,
reach out to grab your hand to steady, but you've
taken one step too far ahead and there's nothing
for me to hold onto.

Canadian born K.V. Skene has been an expat for over four years, now living on the Dorset coast at Swanage. Published works include magazine appearances in Canada, USA and the UK. The book fire water was published by Ekstasis, Canada, 1994. A chapbook Pack Rat was published in Canada by Reference West and a second The Uncertainty Factor/As A Rock in the UK by Tears In The Fence. Elemental Mind was published in Canada by Broken Jaw Press. The Aabye's Baby Archive
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K V Skene, 1999
Web design by Gerald England
This page last updated: 12th November 2006.