Overthrow of Malaysia

by Peter Kent


The forests can’t contain exuberance,
when climate exhales fetid gulps
robust with water-fallen decay. On this
overwrought peninsula, the cold order
of ideas succumbs to vine-wrapped
burgeoning. The monkeys never touch
the damp floor, preferring the trapeze
aura that fuels the transcendent societies
of air-gifted beings. Even as the foresters
(contracted by the makers of all things
plywood) growl through the haze,
the indeterminate rivers that traverse
the lowlands coil like snakes . . . unconcerned,
deliberate in movement, sliding toward seas
that will swallow the soiled aftermath
of the forest’s fallen soldiers.


In the distance, an army drills
for the moment when boredom compels
more overt slaughter. The citizens
of this tropical republic build no defenses,
beyond isolating their enclaves from
the urbanized macaque’s strategies
for tipping dustbins. Trusting (as the forest does)
that decay will birth its own deliverance,
they demand that motorbikes and autos
become ubiquitous as canopy trees. Every
village shall have its highway. The silver-
leaf monkey will be the first to notice
that the fleshy fruit grows bitter.
While every cloud weeps to bring
the acrid taste of bounty closer.

Musical composition by Victor David Sandiego

Peter Kent has published poems in Cimarron Review, New Millennium Writings, Sixfold, and For Poetry. His work received a high commendation in the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition and has earned an Honorable Mention in the New Millennium Writings Contest for Poetry. He works as a winter caretaker at a lodge in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.