November 29, 2023


The traps hidden in the candle flame

are the cages we make and unmake

to chart the future and yet fear

the emergency light at night

dream the concerns of slinky colleagues

and how to police their freedom

against owls, monkeys and bandicoots

that howl at each move to the lee

and yet pretend our poses intact

through several byways reach victory stand

breath by breath conspire against ourselves

only to hear the echoes that rise

or die down in silence the twangs

of memory reveal the pit

dug over the years or the earth

fermented with imaginary gains



I don’t know how to negotiate the long steep trail

with hidden scorpions under loose rocks

at home with human muck in a valley existence

strolling upward through a thicket of TV images

politics of glory, garbage and god

the odd arts of money, hierarchy and control

nobody knows who unmakes whom

I don’t know how to follow the ridges

back to the trail and the dead river

but stand for a moment to rub the sand from my feet

before worrying about the lost vitality and fear

of the approaching night and rising smoke

dissolving in the sky or conspiring with elements

hardly in balance but contorting the psyche

I don’t know what is there for me to hope

when the rains rejuvenate and flood both

the repulsive stench and the loss of pathways

linger longer than the flavour of the first drops

under the tree the puddle feeds no sparrows

but algae that couldn’t dry now trap tiny souls

that fail to swell with heaven’s breath



How long can I grow without roots

or make way for what is approaching

in digital noises I can’t be

inheritor of arrant cowards

smelling the arse on their fingers

nor can I be the priest checking

the burnt tongues to test criminals

stiff with cold I’m tired of animal

struggle for survival and last rites

in candle light digging cursed

treasure for night songs others croon

I can’t decipher names in smoke

nor forget the faces emerging

from the matrix of tremors

that are islands to shackle

feet in silence close the cycle

of waters that feed the sea

I feel lumps hinder and pain

now it’s time to break off and bury

the ash in the earth and plant afresh

foliage for rains or sun to nurse

a destiny I could take pride in



The falsity of the sky is more real than the earth’s

lies can’t sustain hope of divinity

we have complicated with poesying

private hells to mitigate flow of time

that couldn’t carve heaven: we harbour histories

of broken promises and fallen gods

lament men and women buried in light

now soulless, bodiless, traceless we look

upward and whittle continents from clouds

hanging generations that may never be



Created in self

listening to the book

evolving me

in degeneration

indistinct and delusive

memory bank

reigning my action

orgasmic illusion

I keep recycling

cocooned exposition



You’re my love tonight

you know me as you know

your body

will you bother to say hello tomorrow

if we meet in the street

alone like this?

just as I like your frisette

you like my male smell

you say. will you clutch

my hands like this tomorrow

if I meet and say I’m hungry?

how silly, darling, go & wash

your mouth smells pubic hair



Before the bananas ripe

let’s meet at least once

lest the fog dampen passion

let’s water our love

the sun is bright this morning

and night’s promising

let’s meet and unfreeze winter

of years, drink some wine

restore warmth of faith and hope

and heal the breaches

without black goggles for seeing

let’s meet at least once



How does it matter

I remember or forget

the nights or lights

that stand still

in the dense fog

nothing visible

nor audible

the thundering planes

touch the ground:

it’s all game

of guess and vague



even the tick

of the clock

this freezing hour

redolent of

crumbling echoes

I can’t divine vision

or loom up certainty

to mock follies

of dying sun



Last evening

I saw a flower bloom

today it’s faded

but my fear

lurking like a shadow

ever present

I can’t erase:

emptying the mind

easier said than done



There’s more to view in a dew drop

than what lies in my backyard

–years of muck and mucking about-

burial too difficult

in sunlight images shine

like crystal ball reveal my mind

in poetic disturbance

leaking lust and blood on dried grass baked bars

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