"The Scarified Man," by Bruce Boston

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In sf/f/h poetry,homages to the work of other writers, both within and without the science fiction/fantasy/horror genres. The following poem by Bruce Boston who is the leading poet in the sf/f/h genres is a tribute to Ray Bradbury through offering an interesting perspective on Bradbury's THE ILLUSTRATED MAN. The poem appeared in his newest collection DARK MATTER (2010).

'The Scarified Man'

The scarified man

is incised and burnt

with the inscriptions

of a lifetime.

Like tattoos, these intaglios

fade and change with time

as the body changes.

Some become distorted

beyond recognition.

Others grow faint

as a watermark upon a page.

Yet there are some

that never change.

They are deeply incised

and true to their form

as the pictographs

on a stone temple wall.

In moments before sleep,

half-dreaming, he touches

them one by one, and wonders

if anyone can see them.