BEOMEOSA TEMPLE

 

beomeosa-temple

 

BEOMEOSA TEMPLE

1.

Before I pass through the first gate
a Demon stops me
his eyes like two meteor flashes,
the red open mouth and howling
like a ten-ton dragon,
waiting to devour like an inferno,
with teeth like industrial steel pincers
and tongue rolling like a massive anaconda.

He’s going to kill me here
in this peaceful Buddhist temple
where monks in saffron robes are meditating
in front of cheap plastic alarm clocks.

The Demon refuses to leave me alone
he follows me, dragging behind a creature
“bone-white and bone-thin” like Gollum
that’s screaming and kicking.

Even when I left South Korea and flew
18 hours to get home he was waiting
for me on Facebook and Twitter.
Sent me messages saying I must post
to everyone a record of my sins,
all the times I’ve behaved like a tosser,
been a fool or just plain embarrassing.

He gave me two weeks or else
he’d burn my eyes out, stick his tongue
down my throat to taste my heart
and lungs, dine on arms and legs.
He’ll make people hate me so much
I’ll want to throw myself under a train.

I can’t understand why he’s after me
all I did was take a picture of him
when he was restringing his guitar
with sheep’s intestines, at least
I assume they were sheep’s intestines.
2.

After two weeks I was sent a DVD.
It was set in London, an empty bench
outside the South Bank on the edge of day.
People stopped to listen to the river
then moved on their solitary way.

A man sat on the bench.
He was like me
He too listened to the river.
He didn’t see the Demon creep up behind
pause and look at the camera
like some pantomime villian.

The man didn’t scream as the Demon
put some wire over his head
and pulled. People stopped to listen to the river
but they didn’t see the man
even when the Demon threw the body
at Gollum then came toward the camera
with his eyes like two meteor flashes,
the red open mouth and howling
like a ten-ton dragon,
waiting to devour like an inferno,
with teeth like industrial steel pincers
and tongue rolling like a massive anaconda.

I was a marked man
it was no kind of life knowing
he was going to kill me.
I’m scared all the time
I can’t sleep, smoke too much
and eat rubbish.

Every few minutes I turn round suddenly
to surprise the Demon
who’s never there
and then there are those little kids

who keep shouting
he’s behind yer
he’s behind yer.
One day
they’ll be right.

 

 

Rodney Wood
illustration Nick Victor

 

 

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