Savage shadow

Savage shadow

René Adams
1,525 words

Never was a boundary lost
never was a boundary crossed

I watched a sancrosant liver grow four legs
then I watched it run

I saw it bark near the opening of an opera
before it laughed, turned around, and chewed the lightening by its tears
never mixing the street with the galaxy
its paws growing roots in the dust
rushes of wood within buzzing sculpture
with the ease of hands

Heralding the the river with a dozy snore shaping
all of the sky


Saying that from each pore
drops the name

The name of the road.

BOEDICOM pillaged in the mist, thriving from his efforts, as they whipped the horses, and his body was dragged in the sand at a fury beyond mentioning. It was a bad place to be – for those without humour.

But a good place to be, where there is concerto, in the last fight.

And death was in the dust, most of his skin loosening, nearly all of him gone, as he rolled around, scrabbling and pulled among the sandy road

Turning and turning.

There was no time for it all.


Best not die here my love.

And I’ll be damned if I let it end like this, Boedicom screamed.

I watched the sea accepting a buoy in the moonlight. I was drunk.

I missed the day and felt the night lap among her pride.

Then my hands came alive.

Then the dreams backed away from my hands.

I saw something strange and rotting dragged along a plane. Felt the horses whinny. Felt the rogue, judge, testament gone. And yet, I had no sigh, I became. My body spoke more than my words. And there is a place among all the gutter-dogs that forgets giving up.

Mostly in the limbs.

Take them one at a time my father told me. And then there’ll be a time when you’re ropped up by the neck, no limbs no where, no nothing.

Well then, he said, you might remember this poem, but by hell, if you do, you’ll be going the same damn place as me ha!

The gallows can wait, but I will not.
Not and no. Such oblivious words to the universe, but hey
nothing against the horses, nothing against the drivers of this cart

For all, time to dance,
time to eclipse this dance…

Still got that farm, a million years away, where my girls cooking something good
and the reaper plays roulette each day with our trials, winning when we sigh

Howl atcha!

Managing to find a rythm in the throws, Boedicom placed a bloody ripped hand on the rope dragging him by his throat. It was a good day to fight. Maybe the ghosts did it. Maybe the sandy road did it. No damn matter. He made his own prayer on the road. No night like now, mon amie.





I know I’m being dragged along this high-way for a reason that has none.

Knees gone. I think. Sod it. After nothing but being dragged five miles, gimme a dove, i’ll give you a man letting go.

We’re gonna dig a heel in after three seconds, awkardlay, break legs, if you must, then flip me around. We’re gonna crawl up backwards on this damn rope. Lets go.


Boedicom got moving.

Heels scraping in the dirt, a crippling flow of pain, a howl, and it worked.

He flipped over from his back, one eye on the rope, the bones of his rib-cage nearly showing, and started climbing up.

He worked his legs around with the last of the gods, gravel and road bouncing off his chin for a second, and then the hanged turned around, huauling themselves up by the same rope, pulling themselves onto the back of the wagon.

Boots and ankles scrabbling.

He flipped over from his back, one eye on the rope, the bones of his rib-cage nearly showing, and started climbing up.

Maybe a time for my limbs to dance below the tango dusk, as they do, my belly rolling in, hell, made it…

Not because the trajectories were right, or anything is right, but the judges were drinking slow gin at the front seat, and not keeping their eyes on the dead behind.

This won’t be the end, he said to the rope, the rope around his neck. Oh really? The substance did not say. But I can give you a clue… If you crawl all the way past me – which you won’t – both of the riders have guns, a full stomach, the wrong side of shadow, and a gun on each hip, which fire frequenlty…

“K rope. You gotta shut the hell up.” Boedicome said aloud, and “HEY, where you guys going? Haha!” He shouted.

What the rope had said was true.

But not true, of his speed, and heart.

He took a few shots in the chest, which his blood threw away for nothing, and dived forwards into the first rider, grabbing his head, snapping it with a twist, and sweeping the passenger driving the wagon with a hard kick to the back of the head, before next shooting his heel directly into his temple, sending him off.

“Judge the road, not me.” Boedicom said grinning, digging his teeth into the rider’s neck, taking it out, and letting him go too.

Flesh in teeth mind you, careful to grasp the reins from the rider’s hands.

The horses said no matter, but cooled in their gallop, and began to loosen off as no-one no longer whipped them. This was unfamiliar.

But Boedicom knew horses.

And a deep shadow grew in his lungs whenever an animal was driven too hard, or spoken to harshly beyond requirement. There would be no driving among the planes tonight. Only several animals stopped once in a while, watered, and allowed to graze.

The obseqiuos night is made humane by kindness beyond the cutting hand. So there all can rest among the cactus shadows and scuttling daemons among the sandzy haze.

Then he’d never remember how he remounted. He’d tell you that the horse spirit came. That since he was twitching near the base of a dead wagon wheel, there once was a man… yah yah yah…

Stranger than a human reaction is an animal reaction, more predictable yes, but: REAL.

The horses felt watered, fed even, and wondered why the moon was opening many a time, like more water, or mating. One licked the others lips. Made a mosquito go.

“We were running. Where is driver?” Samson asked Delila.

“No know. Sometime we stop. You check.”

Samson couldn’t check, he was held within his reihgns, but he could turn around, and snort, and know, that who laid there was better master.

“What the fuck are you lookin’… Ah… Screw it, better in a desert, than that other damn… Place…”

“Delila he give in.”

“No good for us. Must wake him. Or you never mount me again.”


Samson made his reigns ricochet, swearing at the night with his hooves. Making the hind wheels of the wagon lift up and down. Near Boedicoms head, where he was dying. And in the softness, he would always tell his friends that this was the horse spirit, who chardged near his ear, distorting everything, but still, talking about life with a realistic repose.

He got up.

Wiped the sand from his eyes. Climbed back up. Not before wiping the nats away from the horses behinds, giving them a slap and stroke, and saying something strange to the night.

They rode like this for an hour, Boedicom groggy, only the bumps and sharp moon there to talk and keep him alive.

Let us roll dirty.

Lets not care about it all.

The bumps are dreams, the buzzards, coral, and holy places as well as the desert has a song.

It rained.

Nothing more than Jesus spilling his beer.

The desert spread out ready as the hooves ran along, all his blood spluttering and leaking from his torso, but lets just say, before he went, and before a beak was upon his face, the night quietened, his eyes open every second or so, and no-one was there to whip a horse, no-one is there to whip a man, and one of these old boys left a jug of rum to sail home.

And in the endless deserts, west of a town no where near, they sped forth. Dust barrels and devil barrels waring across the planes.

No distort in a vagabonds gaze.

Night night.

Sun sun.

I’ll see you again dear Lucy momma, your overalls all wasted with the death of a hundred lambs, my fingers all red from helping you.


Where our cabin walls are made from wood, I dash them with creosote each spring.

I’m coming back for you.

Couldn’t hang me in the dirt, couldn’t hang me on the road. And now, I see you dancing in the horizen.

Well I’ll be damned if we don’t corral those sheep again, those bulls, those horses…
Your warmth…
The stars…
This road…
Damn it…

You’re lookin


Aint no night gonna stop me from comin’ home.

To you.


is Raoul Moat in a boat. His first words were ‘Newky Brown’. As well as being our most prolific writer, René also creates graphic art, paintings and screenplays.

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