Saturday, March 18, 2017

A Poet's Parting Legacy and Goodbye

Br. John Forbis, OHC 

A few weeks ago, our Br. John Forbis received the latest issue of New Coin, a poetry journal from Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa where he lived and ministered at Mariya uMama weThemba Monastery of the Order.

In this December 2016 printing, another poem by Br. John appears.  Even though this is not the first time that he was published in this journal, this inclusion of his poem, “My Right Hand”, has a great significance, nostalgia and sentimentality for him. It most likely will be the last time he will be published in this journal and in South Africa as well.    

My Right Hand 

My right hand 
is a snorting bull
crammed in his pen,

rider on his back
pulling on the rope
that cuts into his mouth.

A blue smudge hardens
on his bulging side from the ink
kicked up throwing the previous guy.

This one pulls tighter.
The beast can smell the terror;
his hide ripples with anticipation,

hungry for broken bones. 

From New Coin:  South African Poetry
Volume 52, Issue 2, December, 2016

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