Charlie Devus

Bio

Charles Devus is an artist, writer, performer and musician.

The White Beck

Things are always confused at times of great happenings. I think it was that time just before the war, that is what Grandpa told me. It could have been during or shortly after. It was on Miclemass eve, or was it Crispins Day? He was coming home over the flatland fells to Penigentarl and was later than usual to be home. I believe it was as dusk came down, mauve and dark. The sun was sinking. Do you know the bubbling stream, the one that comes down from high Penigentarl? That was where he stopped, amongst the eyebright and heather, …Read more

The Death of Pubulus Septicus

Gods, when we were young, and drank rich ruby wine From golden cups, and the empire beckoned and beguiled us with promises of triumphs, and tributes and provinces, and statues on the Via Sacra.   Oh Gods, how when we were in our prime, And victory in arms lay only in Germaina or Parthia. Next year or the year after that.   Deities, when we were middle aged and courted old Praetorians and patrician senators in the Pantheon, And latter in the dark, by the light of spluttering lamps, Fashioned our plots.   Oh God how when we were old …Read more

The Welshman’s Prayer

Please Lord Affect all my neighbours with boils. And send locusts to assail Mervin Jenkins in his shop. And cause Anharad Griffiths to issue fourth writhing abominations from the Book of Revelations, out of her belly and through, between her legs. And make me righteous amongst shopkeepers. And send me a good shag on Saturday night.

Teddy Bears and Nightmares

Here’s the man awake and shining like a salesman, his mind as empty as a church, his head encumbered with hollow smiles like a moron with presidential powers. His soul, like a King’s well-lit palace, empty again the monarch being permanently out, so all and sundry can walk in halls of deafening light, with mirrors reflecting grotesque parodies of the naked and the new.   Here he is again married to a steel wife, soft as breasts, iron as divisions, all oestrogen, chocolate and horror, holding his scrotum ball career in her fist like globes of tin. He is reduced …Read more

The Angels of our Better Selves

If we were rational and honoured love, those dead would have been enough to satiated the earth. We would remember them. Each martyred one We should not do that again. But the men of peace are pushed aside. Our heroes are not the gentle ones, but the great and gruesome ape. We celebrate the conquerors and murderous men. Each tribe contrives a cenotaph. If it had not been so how far might we have come? Yet the war god is in our bones; the hunter in the sinews and our blood. If we could weep still for our first and …Read more

Dai Pigglet

It was raining. The sky was dull and black. Water flowed in torrents from the gutters and wainscots. Trees dripped. A dead cat lay flattened in the muddy lane, and Dai Pigglet trudged along the path beside the grey and dilapidated house to the leaking shed behind it. Icicle fingers trickled in rivulets down his spine, frigid as wet dreams in the shameful dark. And Dai Pigglet thought aloud: ‘Sod this for soldiers’. Reaching the shed he slid back the rust-slimed bolt with the wearied vigour of indifference. The bolt gives, sliding back like the rusting foreskin of a robot …Read more

The Home of the Whale Part One Huslif’s Saga

In the spring the land of the young Gives homage to its Mother. Sweet the earth, Sweet the good vine And Sweet the screams from the wood. Good the bounty she endows to us, For many a table groans with plenty. Ripe the yield of the years In this fat land where children thrive And grow to be a straight limbed people. There are old ones who still persist In grunting vows to near forgotten Gods, Though we are blessed by the fair Goddess But this is their crude chant: Mighty earth, Mighty earth, Mighty, Mighty, Mother. In summer we …Read more

I Been Down to Clear Waters (Song)

I been down to clear waters clear as the mountain stream. I been bathed in clear waters washed my sins clean.   God and the Devil are dancing, dancing on the head of a pin. Each one mirrors the steps of the others and men are caught between.   But I been down to clear waters clear as the mountain stream. I been bathed in clear waters washed my sins clean.   Some men seeking goodness are blind to all they see. Some men steeped in wickedness are the cause of charity.   I been down to clear waters clear …Read more

Black Dog Chasing Blossom

She wondered. ‘Where does the pain of it come from?’ It was a sunny day. A sunny evening. There were bees in the herb garden and the sun was just beginning, just beginning to set behind the priory walls.’ Yet the pain would not go away. ‘It is such a beautiful day.’ She thought. ‘And I am loved, and all is right with the world. Yet why is pain here? Why am I so lonely Amidst so many?’ The hills began to lose their last of their green. A gust of wind showered her with petals. Bird song filled the …Read more

Who is it dying on their frail bed?

Who is it who is dying on their frail bed, A sweaty pillow beneath their head? Is it you, perchance, whose time has come Screaming softly for the coming sun?   But that you will not ever see, now the varnished veil recedes To Bible-Jesus and acrid pain down the vanished, familiar, lane.   But you see us dimly by your bed. And ask of no-one who we are. And liken us deliriously, you said. To tax-men or glow-worms in the fire.   And the tunnel of leaving fathoms up Like dead chapels from between the sheets. Light, and gold …Read more

Beware the Deviant

Beware the Deviant of the shadow and the unseen claw. For the Deviant lurks in dark recesses, Under the stairs in black wells of darkness, And in moon rippled corners of silent waters, And the gleam of silver light half made up in the window. Beware the solitary inclination to wander the lone paths of the forest mind and away from the company of the brethren. Leave not the federati of the company. Stray not from the colonia burg, the city and the safe nests of men. Always remember the chant of the brethren is the great shield afeard of …Read more

Skanky Bitch

She met him at the reading and sat shaven for him,   as their eyes played the game of glances, though she had not told him of it, whispering:   ‘I am a skanky bitch.’   For she knew they would be touched and touching.   He kissed her a lingering kiss with exploring, intertwining tongues, tasting of wine and craving.   His hand fumbling under her bright blouse and under that impeding bra.   Kneading her dough-like breasts, she needing it, nipples pert as buttons to his palm, his fingers travelling over them.   He hardening to rock against the smooth …Read more

Fish & Chips

You said… I need time to box the compasses of my thoughts.   The sea crashed against the promenade, spread pebbles one and two along the road. The rain drives on. Cars battle through it with wiping windscreens, headlights horizontal through the daylight drops   The café door slams and slams again shut and you were out of it, angry with hurt in the rain.   You said…… You said nothing of compasses or Deuteronomy, only looks.   I’m in the café with coffee congealed around a dead soldier of a mug; a cup with a brightly coloured boat.   …Read more

Crazy Jane in Therapy

  On her first session she said: ‘The flowers sang the strangest song there ever was.’ The councillor took notes impassively. He was a chiselled rock of sanity.   The second session she was Messalina queen of whores. He noted this impassively. His voice was soft and reassuring.   Her third time she had been gnawed by demons. The madness lapped within her mind like a black sea. He said nothing yet he was an island in Tempest.   At the fourth meeting she felt her mind going out to him as a frond, reaching in, touching and caressing, flowing …Read more

Crackhead’s Funeral

Jan had Harlequin In-his-mad-bonce. He died from kaleidoscopes of the mind.   He looked up vacantly from death, and the Hell of it in his head, and gasped out his last to the room.   And the crack had it away. And away he was dead, meat, rotting. Whispering:   ‘I have tasted the ten thousand shades of love.’   And Jan had a funeral when he died himself away. And we were by the sea-front for the wake.   Drinking cheap cider on the dregs of nothing to spend, and pissing away the world in the dead heat of …Read more

At the Well

In the village, sometimes I see you, fetching water at the well, with the other women.   Your arms are not as white, as the daughters, in the refined capital. but a small blemish above the elbow, gives you perfection.   Like a pot the potter said, was to pure, that he marked it, and made it beautiful.   You, who smile at the water place, and laugh. How I wish your smile was for me.   When you flirt in the market, with the tanned boys from the boats on the shore, I feel the barbs of their fish …Read more

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