Poetry: Robert Maddox-Harle

Robert Maddox-Harle

Cast Shadows


The abandoned building beckons

a bleak bridge to the past,

paint flakes the wall

falling like downcast eyes,

an eerie dull light seep insipidly

from a crescent moon,

a flickering dull-bright from

the cracks beneath the antique doors.


Damp musty scents waft over me

the presence of coal gas menacing,

somewhere a clock ticks loudly

reinforcing the curse of mortality,

Plath’s ghost sighs deeply
trying to recite Sheep In Fog,

impossible this side of the bleak bridge.


The one-armed cook smirking

stirs the blood-filled stew
and the broken stove creaks,

dinner for the Laid Off

half warm - soon.

the boy’s clock chimes his return

his broken lamp lifeless

casting shadows on nothing!

(Inspired by “The Club of the Laid Off” (1989) is a short 25-minute stop-frame animation movie masterpiece by Czech filmmaker Jiri Barta)




Shrouded Coffin


The intrapsychic coffin is shrouded

a sickly white-grey mist obscures its plaque,

the coffin’s presence a mystery,

it suddenly materialising remains unanswered.


Throwing the Tarot yields The Moon,

four golden Yods fall from her body

two towers are the gateway to Resurrection

the dark flux of night dominates ….

this coffin is deceptive,

search past the falsity of the obvious

is the wisdom of this Luna card.


The mist lifts and reveals an inscribed plaque

“Within this tomb lies the answer,

the answer to the illusion of space-time reality”,

to open the coffin an esoteric key is needed ….

a ventriloquist’s phantom chant

echoing an incantation harmoniously,

an incantation from the heart of the Golden Yantra.


The chanting slows and softens

the dark flux of night

is drawn apart by slivers of moonlight,

in the yellow gloom the coffin lid opens,

an effigy of Salvador Dali grins,

a golden clock balances on his chest

the time …. one minute to midnight.




The Hospital


An eyelash clears a cinder trapped beneath its rim,

the chained slave is a never-ending burden

in different shades of bruised blackness,

then consumable luxuries send intimate messages

extremely crass,


so the goose kills the loquacious and inaccessible whores

and everlasting vows are abandoned.


La Saltpêtrière – Explosive!

gunpowder blasts transmute to deranged screams

Enter Edvard Munch!

The plough rejects the earth

shrill birds mocking,

this ultimately floats into infinity

all ignoring an oboe's desolate plea.


Next we find the pawnshop of numeric tourism,

this well-considered defence strategy opens the technological almanac

raising the hospital's permit

and the hysterics are silenced,



The soft-hearted and worn-down procurements float

as doubt settles into the abysmal lace,

the best-seller an abomination of retrospective lies

answers as the phone rings abruptly.


47 Boulevard de L’hopital.


A mysterious painting hangs abandoned in the hall

its piety risks exposure

functioning as a mirror for psychosis

all creatures disintegrate before its reactive tendrils.


(From: The Blazing Furnace.)


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