Mosaic Nude, by Susan Mohl PowersSusan Mohl Powers/Grand'mere Eugene


A wirey figure of shadow and ink.
Sharpness protrudes from knees, from elbows. She is a box of unwound paper clips
Around her, women in tatters, concrete – crack. The ridge of her cheek, the arch of their back.
Cigarette in hand, smoke on her lips, a startled image of distorted beauty.
A silver hue
Distends to space beyond, a world of sweat and dust.
Her eyes fixed concrete – stone, the ground meets her
With a vacant stare.
The air is murky, thick and fast.
It sticks in the throat, falters breath –

Her voice is quiet. The echoes escape her mouth barely born
She’s all corners and edges, her words like arrows, jagged and cruel
Not angry or sad, but empty of all.
I meet her gaze and she glances back with a look of forgotten affection.
A black cap forms
A shadow over her eyes and she’s almost lost within
A murky space; deprivation and hunger
A hunger that’s endless, unyielding in its pervasion. See how it stabs her, how it clothes her and wears her.
And I... here she is. This is hunger.


Behind me, beside me, always at my feet
An ache in my side, when I sleep, when I eat
There in the morning and there through the night
The shapes in the darkness and the bulb of the light.

I know he lies watching, from above and below
He waters the plant that lingers to grow
Deadening leaves and a small drooping heart
The flower that’s withered and waned from the start.

He hijacks the mirror and cracks through the pane
(The lengths he’ll endure to make you look vain)
I see him and don’t, hear him perhaps
The words of a priest, with wisdom that cracks.

The bite of a snake, the sting of a bee
A poison that rots to the root of the tree
Don’t walk home alone or leave hours unfilled
Don’t clean up the peace that’s already been spilled.

There’s dirt on your shoes and guilt on your hands
He’ll unpick your lies and scatter your plans
Look sideways and through, he’ll be there or not
Loud as a gun, yet quick as a shot.

He’s there in my cereal, on my fork and my spoon
The chords and the beat of this repetitive tune
And when I think I have won, I have conquered his soul
There he is lying, at the bottom of my bowl.


Mountain View

Discovering Cambridge’s art: on mental health

Ageless and young, he won’t grow in years
He stifles desire and feeds on its fears
He’ll wait for my life, for my youth and my age
For I’ll run out of lives, before the end of this page.

I’ve reported him now, maybe two hundred times
Reeled off his crimes like nursery rhymes
So he changes his path, attacks from within
Again I am left, with each bitter sin.

They’ll find him one day; his capture awaits
If Mercy is true and there’s hope in the Fates.
When stories are told, their beauty unfurled
Liberation exists, in a far distant world.

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