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Richard Behrens is a native New Yorker who has had short fiction, poetry and film criticism published in Parabola, Chakra, Forbidden Lines, Planet Magazine, Cinemaphobia, and scores of other small press publications throughout the 80's and 90's. He is currently working as a Web applications developer for one of the largest financial insitutions on the planet. He dreams of one day being what he was ten years ago.


Dark Planet is designed and edited by Lucy A. Snyder. If you spot any errors, or if you have any comments, please contact her at lusnyde@cyberus.ca.

All materials copyright 1996-1999 by their respective creators. No stories, articles, poems or images from this webzine may be posted or published without the written consent of their creator(s).

A Forest Of Kings

by Richard Behrens

Let me be worthy of my song
Let the green insects trill deep
in the ferns and limestone crags
Let the jungle throb, hear drums
of poems from echo past and tomb beyond
where dead kings speak with silence

All I see are broken houses and forest rot
eating what was once a childhood.
Little red-limbed boy once sat lid-eyed
in the squat heap and saw the princes parade
on concourses and platforms dancing
under stars, piercing skin and tongue
with the words of the Gods.

Monster-faced god once roared
scrolls from his reeling tongue
and painted his story across
the green canopy of the insect
woods --

-- now his words are pictures,
scream heads and noble noses staring
sideways into eternity, into the bubble
squared image/word of dead tongues
bring the magic down
down through the spheres
down from the sky
into the temple heaps, the tombs,
the trees, the standing gods,
their topiaries of stone

open the portal, Xbalba awaits,
the hordes line at the door for entry
to the flesh feast of devouring time.

If you stare deep enough into the
paintless eyes of the tree kings
somewhere, beyond words, the pupils
dilate and scrolls of only-possible
poem speak:

"I was, I am here, I will be."
And the forest answers death
with the monkey shrill
of life