“Akela” by Graham Burchell

Graham Burchell

had us in her nesting box
one evening every week
creosote wood haven
in a rustic island
off The Ridgeway

she had us filed in sixes
half dozens in green plumage
wool and skullcaps slipping
over brylcreem short back and
sides arms stitched with badges

this weekday evening goddess
had us raising two stiff fingers
tilted like pistol barrels at our heads

had us chanting dib dib dob
without coercion or torture
made us wear scarves pulled
like a noose to a woggle of

leather Akela with the beak
of an owl brown owl Akela
woman our smiling Anubis
from a jungle book of tame
names and innocence

Akela thin as a winter alder
with a mossed-up trunk
the knot expert almost without
sex yet warm as fresh-boiled milk


Graham Burchell was born in 1950 in Canterbury, England but now writes from his home in Houston, Texas. He is the winner of the 2005 Chapter One Promotions Open Poetry Competition, Winner of the 2006 Hazel Street Productions Poetry Contest, the runner up in the 2005 ‘Into Africa’ International Poetry Competition and a runner up in the 2006 Ware Open Poetry Competition. He was also nominated for a 2006 Pushcart Prize. His poetry has appeared in many print and online literary magazines. His first poetry collection From The Right Side of the Pond (Sun Rising Press) and his second Vermeer’s Corner (Foothills Publishing) will be published this year. He is the editor of the online poetry journal, Words-Myth.

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