Suddenly the ants burst out of their burrow
in a race to find food. The burning surface
of the sand shimmers and insects blow
across the shadows. An ant stops on its axis,
spinning on the spot to map the pattern
of polarized light that scatters across the desert
dune. The scout’s armoured skin- like a modern
alloy of silver, copper and zinc. Delicate
interlocking plates shift with mechanical
precision, supported on needle-sharp legs.
As if wound by a magical key, its mandible
strips off the wings and limbs of a red-
eyed fly, struck by heat stroke. The fly twitches in the hot Sahara dirt,
and like terrible clockwork unwinding- the ant too grinds to a halt.
The Death of John Lennon
Four gunshot wounds and a collapsed lung. Straight
after we stripped him, we started
to resuscitate him – I held John Lennon’s heart
in my hand, and as I massaged it a flood
of music swam out of him. Against his ghastly
white flesh the wounds shone like strawberries
sunken into snow. I remember exactly
when I pronounced him dead, I was sorry,
but I could not stop the bleeding.
At eleven fifteen p.m. I took off
his wedding ring. The nurses were now weeping.
Suddenly, the radio burst into life:
‘Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you,
tomorrow I’ll miss you. Remember I’ll always be true…’
When I heard Yoko screaming; my blood froze.
Michael Dante has been writing and publishing poetry for more than a decade. Much of his work centers on themes concerning pain, madness, human deception, obsessive states of mind, cruelty, solitude, addiction, death, imprisonment, exile and mysticism. He says about his own work:
‘My poetry gives a voice to the voiceless, those who have none, the destitute and the insane. My has many dimensions – spiritual, sociological, emotional, mythical and psychological elements as well as lexical and metrical components. A good poem should sing out on many levels, its rhythm should mirror both thematic and narrative. The best poems are apprehended by the intellect and felt by the heart.’
Recently, Michael has appeared in the West End reciting his poetry – it was here while reading his war poem ‘Necromancer’ that Help for Heroes invited him to read at their London fund raising event. On World Poetry Day, Dante read with Planet Poetika to celebrate a resurgence in the modern poetic form. He performs with The Word Distillery and organises the Chinwag open mic sessions held at Aberystwyth Art’s Center. His is currently working on his book while regularly performing his work live. Visit his website for more information on his work: http://www.michaeldante.co.uk