Mourning Star

Show me your skirt of rocks and ice,

Hemmed with glowing dust and glass,

As you career through space in an

Endless circle, your path encumbered

Only by an unfortunate planet or moon,


Light up my pitch-black night with

Your cold fire, draw a smoldering line

Across the other stars, erase them as

I would my memory, pierce the sky

Like a sword descending on flesh,


Rouse the birds into frantic flight,

Raze the treetops as you fly along,

Part the oceans like the hand of God,

Crash into my earthen face, release

Tons of choking dirt and smoke,

Bury me in darkness. Obliterate me.

Unnatural States

A flower, growing in sand:

The rose, petals supple leather,

Dark red like menstrual blood,

Reeking like overripe fruit,

Budding lopsidedly towards

A sky littered with dead stars.


A fish, walking on grass:

The carp, scales shiny like glass,

Pale green like runny phlegm,

Redolent like night jasmines,

Skipping lightly towards

A forest of charred fruit trees.


A smile, rising out of misery:

The man, face bright as a bulb,

Pallid like communion wafers

Dipped in stale white wine,

Hurtling helplessly towards

A life of deep meaninglessness.

Ophelia’s Way

Floating along this stream,

Its clear face quivering like shook

Glass above my dead eyes,

Leaves forming a brown-gold halo

Around my mangled head,

My pale fingers lightly touch

The silt beneath, stirring up life

With such feathery grace

I am almost tempted to swim

If only my legs were not useless

Logs protruding from my torso

Of saplings and dried twigs.


The cold water numbs me further,

Buries my memory to dark depths,

Dulls all pain to a soothing hum,

Leaving nothing but this desire

To float like this, forever, towards

Where waters run bitter and sweet.

M. Protacio-De Guzman is from Manila, Philippines. His poems and stories have appeared in local and international magazines and anthologies, most recently in Off the Rocks Volume 19 by New Town Writers Press. His gay-themed stories for children have been awarded in his home country. After years of raising dogs, he has recently become a cat person.