Arc Publications logo

50 years at the cutting edge of poetry publishing

“A meeting point for poets of all latitudes”
— Víctor Rodríguez Núñez

Cliff Forshaw, from Vandemonian

Ned Kelly's Eyes - Image

i. Image

That’s him, that awkward shadow, that black, that's Ned.
He's painted out as if already dead.

Sometimes, it's just a blank, that slit for eyes.
You look right through the man to clear blue skies.

Sometimes, that void’s red-tinged with fire or dawn:
the burbling billy-can, the day’s first yawn.

Sometimes, the clouds in that gash blush with dusk:
sky buries its burning cheek down in the dust.

Sometimes, there's a flash of silver, say sardines:
that peeled-back strip you’ve keyed along the tin.

He has no eyes in the back of his head, of course.
Sometimes, he rides away (Black gun. Black horse.)

into another picture. What's forged by smith
from black's still fire-lit then, and riding into myth.