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Tom's Poetry

Christmas Haiku

Sun Demons

in a small South American town
shopkeepers locked up their doors with big brass keys
and everyone went home at siesta time
and slept while the sun-demons
      laughed and wept, like fire
      in the village square
      and along the orchard rows,
      and mocked the panting strays
      who barked twice at them
      before returning exhausted
      to the shade of banana trees

mothers locked their doors against the sun-demons
and warned their children not to stir
but you could still go out and play with them
they would dance with you
      and whisper dirty secrets in your ear
      on red-tile roofs
      in the feverish hours of the sun

but you'd best leave before you dance too long
      or they'll fill their thirst with your body juice
      and lick your salt with flames
your body will join the dust of the square
and all that will be left of you
      will be the sun-demon
      condemned to dance at the noon hour
      to rise and shimmer from white-hot stones
      and suck the sweat from living men

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(C) 7/18/95 Tom Brinck