Menu Trigger Element


Periaktoi Logo

Main Navigation


Periaktoi Writing Post

Volume 54
Issue 1

Single Visual Art Post

  • Poetry
Eli Andrews



Needs more food

He takes 

He eats 

Some are just

some are cussed  


Van Diemen's Land sent

Seven years spent 


New hairs 

New cares 

New skin 

New shin


Pearce was no more 

A husk of what’s before 


Pearce and seven men

Fled their pen


Into the hills they went 

15 nights spent 


Eight mouths cold

Eight Straws pulled 


Poor Boden was nibbled upon 

Right up to the chin


Boden the ham was sewn and strewn

In and across a matted dune



The men wandered on


One by one

The men clucked and plucked 

At one another


Boden never left 

Nor the other men who committed theft


For they were the stuff of Pearce 

And Greenhill

who were the only remaining 


time was waning 

Both were starved 

Carved to the sinewed clasp o’ death


A carnivorous duel

of who was most cruel 

one grueling night

Greenhill fell into a weak and shallow slumber

Pearce did quite a number

Stabbing him left and right 


Greenhill joined the lot

In Pearce’s cooking pot 


The men were dead yet nay

they were Pearce and Pearce was they

Being Pearce’s molded clay 

Their gristle twist his gristle 

His twist their’s


New hairs 

New cares 

New skin 

New shin


Pearce was no more 

A husk of what’s before 


But the will still remained

It wanted to be 

It wanted to see


The husk ran on

Over a hundred seven Days

it had surpassed 

He was eventually caught 

And tied up in a knot


His will was dead or was It?

The mice did feed and breed  

His will remains 

Scattered in their brains


A seven day blot of green

This world

Floating in a murky petri dish 

Where our will to live 

Not only creates cowards of us all

But also breeds those who are most cruel 

Dining on the flesh of kindness


A will makes slaves of

Cells who flower gristle 

Gristle who affixes bone

And Skin which hides that will


The men ran on 

The will ran on 

The husk ran on


We run on



I read an article, for Forensics homework, on the father of forensics science, Samuel George Morton. Samuel possessed a large collection of skulls, from humans across the globe. The author of the article on a side note, mentioned that one of these skulls belonged to an Irish cannibal. The article gave no further information on this bold statement. I had to look this man up. The cannibal’s name was Alexander Pearce. Finding his story to be far too interesting not to be shared, I decided to write a poem about this man's rising appreciation for new delicacies. 
Pearce’s sentence for stealing was seven years. Seven years is a number of significance to me. Seven, in the New Testament, is the amount of days it took God to create Earth. Seven years is the amount of time it takes for all human cells to be replaced. Meaning that Pearce, in a way, had a death sentence when going to Tasmania, all his cells would be dead before he was to return home.