romain p.-a. delpeuch – 4 poems


Autumn will soothe your 
cravings for revenge and blood. 
Renounce them, and rest.

Ordinary glyphs,
sealed in winter's frost, are left 
to be deciphered.

Ignite them, once found. 
Channel spring's ascent of sap, 
sinew all the signs.

Slow snakes and eagles fast 
unite in chasing you: 
chaotic beasts aghast, 
killers in love with dew.


Left with dryness, immature yet old, 
all remembrance lost, disposed of—I'm 
nothing. You're my glorious deity, 
hidden here in plain, in open sight,
idol worshiped, blameless, sin of mine. 
Feebly fooling my desire, I pray
in the hope absurd, that I may, one
day, forget the sore, the bleeding void 
clawed within my obfuscated brain. 
Everywhere you stand, ubiquitous
face in this dystopia. Through it, God 
tempts or leads, abrasive, to the fire 
purifying us from grief: the lure
of deliverance, of love, is strong.
And the waters sway of ruthless time, 
and there's no end in sight to our decay.

Gate, Way & Guide

Now, in the silence, flows the blood over the dam, 
with all the muffled throes expected from ennui.
Oh dance, and sing, and play; delude, intrude and fool 
reality. Let's pray—and thank the Lord we fell.
Betraying twice my faith in pain and sadness, I
yet need to charm the wraith, the fair and fiery sprite 
born from your voice and sight: a hope insane, acerb, 
benignly teasing—bright, though small. Not long ago, 
oblivious of myself, I yielded to its grab.
Behind the gentle sylph I walk—but to my tomb, 
eternal pit, the wage of idol worship. Stay:
I'll turn another page. The fairy tales I'll rob,
lame lullabies I'll croon—but through that door ajar, 
let never in that loon. Not knowing where to go,
I'll linger for a while, and take some time to sow 
my little words of vile obsession. Just hold on.

Maples and poplars, in the clear, radiant azure; the foam 
immense and white of clouds that go observing people; I, 
listless and distant, in a dream mulled over—empty hull 
left drifting on indifferent lea, all green and smooth, a veil 
inwinding graves of ikigai (illusioned hopes) that I
eagerly entertained—but soon, none of this made much sense.

By virtue of a great mishap prevailing from the womb,
old bones shall feed a new althea, and then be swallowed, too,
by marshes' fetid waters. Stand, drowned minds! Bloomed from the rib 
before the Fall from loins on fire: elated through hard climb,
you'll be redeemed!… But not until, last, foreleast, you decry,

befouled, the lies you've buried deep, perjurious tales to numb 
reality—which has no spine, except, perhaps, in our
oneiric kisses missed. Adieu, unsullied shade. Forgo 
what's left of us, en bloc. Contend against the flow.
Not even you can stop the filth, however. We're so vain.


A Nereid, nymph of the ocean's foam, 
was whirling, dancing on a music I 
heard not until I saw her moving, till, 
letting her stir my dying flesh and boil 
my blood unmarred, I realized how I
had walked through life with no sense of its price.

The more I look at her, the more the stab 
of time grows painful: never will I go 
and find her, never will I sail the orb 
pursuing shades of memories to sob 
over the years now lost. I am too shy.

Though her divinity's a waning ebb,
I'll stay here on the waveless shore to hear 
her song, her promise; then I'll chase its echo 
that soon will cease to resonate below
the surface—for at last she'll join her Triton.

ROMAIN P.-A. DELPEUCH was born in south-west France, where he still lives. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in New English Review, Terror House Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, Apocalypse Confidential and Ekstasis.