SHOCKing Sonnets: There’s Something About Sutherland…

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SHOCK’s resident poet Nigel Parkin gives us some SHOCKing sonnets and horrifying haikus.

I

There’s something about Sutherland. That face

Is like the most expressive mask a clown

Could ever wear. In DON’T LOOK NOW he is

The clumsy puppet of a cruel fate –

Spilling, stumbling, crashing, falling through a

Mocking world of aching grief and desperate

Hope, a world in which that face is twisted,

Pulled and stretched into grim portraits of rage,

Fear, agony and hopeless, smiling love.

This is the mask he wears when clutching his

Lifeless girl or naked wife close to him,

Or when pressing his hand to his slashed throat –

Kicking against time’s glass, trying to freeze

The moment, to keep the red from running.

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II

In INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS

That face has become a special effect,

More than man/dog hybrids or oozing pods,

A thing of true terror – but also pain.

In the final scene he is the victim

Not just of the invaders but of a

Cruel game of memory – domed buildings,

Women in red; this cold world horribly

Alien and yet all too familiar.

No wonder he screams, his eyes widening,

His cheeks pushed inwards by the awful force

Of all he understands. And we are pulled

Towards that gaping mouth, knowing this is

The end, the abyss into which we fall.

 

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