Referential Magazine is an online journal based on an interesting premise - submissions must refer back to a poem they have already published, by taking inspiration from a word or phrase in a poem from the site.
This week's task at Big Tent Poetry was to write a poem based on something found at Referential. My poem is based on the words tibia, fibula and the phrase coins in the sack from Elizabeth Langemak's poem, Self Portrait as Fake Saint with Wheel
The Grave Robbers
He doesn’t have any use for it now,
it’s clear, his soul long since gone
and his silver coin to pay the ferryman
fallen to earth from his clenched grasp.
The last shreds of flesh melted into the earth.
All that we saw a few tufts of hair,
his bleached bones, sightless sockets.
I pushed gold bangles high up my arm,
filled a sack with gold coins,
buckled his sword belt round my waist,
snatched the sword from where it lay
beside his lifeless bones – tibia, fibula
hoisted his plough on my back,
filled a sack with gold coins.
We left as quickly as we came,
in the dark hour of the night
when there were none to observe us,
and the noise we heard was only an owl
calling “Who? who?”, though our hearts
beat faster, and a fox in the shadows
seemed to fix us with its stare,
and our step quickened as we heard a rustle behind us
- only the wind stirring the leaves, we said –
but we stumbled over tree roots
and I fell headlong, dropped my sack,
its mouth open, a coin as round and silver
as the moon splashing into a puddle
and staring up at me, a single accusing eye.
For more referential poems, go here
And I have a give away this week. One copy of our recently published book Flap: The Chook Book 2, written by the Poetry Chooks, a group of whom I am one quarter. If you would like to go in the drawer, please say so in the comments. I'll leave the draw open until Saturday 17th at 6pm New Zealand time - which is somewhere around 6am Sunday GMT