The major sin is the sin of being born.
Hominid-handled bovine bone hammered
Kindred skull. No dragging knuckles stopped
Him looting dark markets, the self helped
To fat figs, muted chops of choice tapir.
Early man made primal maul, hammered
Raft and drifted. Shrooming troglodyte asked
Great Mother why clubs had to clobber trans-
Animal cavemen, interspecies lovers.
Deckhand heard whale codas click; they hammered
Hull all night. Till gory dusk he’d hauled
Dragging line, deftly stroked but dreamed
An earthy bed. Jack fathomed his lure to the spear,
Sensed he’d still sniff sperm after molting
His oilskin, slow withdrawal of his dogged sea-legs.
Joe Bishop’s work has appeared in The Puritan, Plenitude Magazine, Tar River Poetry, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Poetry Is Dead, Riddle Fence, The New Quarterly, and has been featured on the League of Canadian Poets’ website. He is a recipient of a Newfoundland & Labrador Arts & Letters award for poetry. His first chapbook, Dissociative Songs, was published in 2021 by Frog Hollow Press.