Photography © Jennifer Matthews


Saturn Devouring His Son

           “A scheme is not a vision” –Leonard Cohen

Any one of his eight could take his power,
he sees in a vision, and he can’t see which,
so commands his wife to bring them all.

I remember Chris saying about commanding
in the army, “You can get an 18-year old to kill,
but 19, 20 years old, they aren’t so keen on it.”

“Bring them on,” he shouts to his wife,
who is herself a goddess, and she does, and he
takes to eating them, one by one. This

is the first and already he is crazed,
you can see in his crazy eyes, leaking
not the tears of sorrow but the sobs

you sob when you have to, have to
do something hideous, like
ripping flesh up, choke it down,

and while he tears his son up, he is
tearing up, this is the worst
he will ever be, and for naught,

like most murders, because his wife
will wait till he is blinded by those tears
and by blood, till he can’t—as we say—

see straight. He is gulping his seventh child down
whole when she slips him a stone he swallows
quick and doesn’t notice it sinks like a rock.

The war’s on him, like a joke. The war comes
and because he’s raised alone and so young the son
born of all that carnage, will kill his father, kill anyone.


Diane Kendig, who has worked as a poet, writer, translator and teacher for over 40 years, is the author of four poetry collections, most recently “Prison Terms.” She has published widely in literary journals, such as “J Journal,” “Wordgathering,” and “Under the Sun.” A proponent of public workshops and local poets, Kendig conducts creative writing workshops in prison, schools, and community centers and she curates a weblog with 4000 subscribers, “Read + Write: 30 Days of Poetry” for National Poetry Month.

Poet/Photographer Jennifer Matthews’ poetry has been published in Nepal by Pen Himalaya and locally by the Wilderness Retreat Writers Organization, Midway Journal, The Somerville Times, Ibbetson Street Press and Boston Girl Guide. Jennifer was nominated for a poetry award by the Cambridge Arts Council for her book of Poetry Fairy Tales and Misdemeanors. Her songs have been released nationally and internationally and her photography has been used as covers for a number of Ibbetson Street Press poetry books and has been exhibited at The Middle East Restaurant, 1369 Coffeehouses, Sound Bites Restaurant in Somerville and McLean Hospital.