You can hear them read here:
The first one is a brutal mini tragedy, it starts like this....
He stepped out into unobstructed wind,
shut and barred the door, half-dragged,
half-carried the defeated child towards
the parapet. His fumbling hand felt stone
felt for the edge and end of stone, found space.
Footsteps on the stair, pounding at the door.
A small crowd in the courtyard, pointing
to a blind man and a child on the castle’s
highest tower. The castellan was pleading:
‘Give me back my son!’ and demanding
to know how the prisoner had escaped.
Blinded and castrated, for a reason
no one could remember, he’d been there so long
he’d been allowed to grope his way around.
No one thought he could be dangerous.
‘Give me back my son, my only son, my heir,
and I will set you free.’ ‘Castrate yourself,’
the blind man raged. ‘Castrate yourself or
I will toss your son, your only son, onto the stones below.’
The gathered people saw the blade descend and groaned.
‘You’ve done it?’ called the man. ‘I have.’
‘Where does it hurt?’ ‘In my groin, ‘You lied.’
The blind man moved the child closer
to the edge. ‘Wait,’ screamed the lord, ‘this time.’
.....it doesn't end well....
The poems were first published in The High Window. They are now available in A Presentment of Englishry (Shearsman 2019) available from online book sellers and direct from www. liamguilar. com