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contradictions

September 11, 2017

a land of deep and ancient history
and of little thought of tomorrow

of extraordinary generosity
and appalling selfishness

of wealth and poverty,
of wide open space and swelling sprawl

of relentless pursuits
and immense laziness

of great warmth
and astonishing pettiness

of opportunity for most
and cruelty for a few

of artistic and spiritual achievement
and hurricane-strength consumerism

of bursts of insight
and depths of denial

a land in which I lived for my first 41 years

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afterstorm

September 10, 2017

rainwet streets
and drizzly air,
with hat and book

justdone fullmoon is
off hiding somewhere behind
something or other

orange lights glint
on the undulating river,
purposeless at 3 am

reverberation
of thought, half
grasped and half digested

the air is full
of promise and
decay

clanking of bottles on pavement,
finding a path around
inundated fetid intersection

the final march
down my street,
the last few offers
of tuk tuks

the satisfaction of
keys in the pocket,
and a hungry cat behind the door

daily

September 5, 2017

life clutches at the throat
a little tighter, and we wish
for yesterdays, when we
know what happens next

these are the times that put
the husk in our voices
the grit in our grind
the bit in our teeth

watching the tumbrel pass
and we struggle to find
our voices, with or without husk
wishing for yesterdays,
when we know what happens next

dream cleaning

August 30, 2017

bring in your old tattered dream
and we’ll return it to you looking like new

we’ll wash and we’ll rub and we’ll scrub
we’ll magic away the stains and the grime
we’ll mend the rips and the tears
we’ll replace the missing buttons and bows
we’ll steam and we’ll press it
we’ll make alterations, nips and tucks
so it fits again
we’ll polish the brasswork and fittings
so it shines
we’ll suffuse it with scents and leave petals in the pockets
so it’s a joy to wear

bring in your old tattered dream
and we’ll return it to you looking like new
so that it’s a joy to wear

we never close

 

the mushroom chronicles

August 27, 2017

O my dear small friend,
whom I am coming to resemble
(although I am yet to grow a tail)
who weaves through my days,
our daily rhythms
and rituals
entwined

maker of next-room noises,
often prudent alarm clock,
mute until hungry,
slipping between
blackpanther and snowleopard
scaled down in size but neither
pride nor slink

doorkeeper keeping close watch
on my nocturnal staggering,
a boon companion of days
in wake and in rest

window gazer
chest sitter
together we stretch
together we curl
and in the afternoon you disappear

for whom I travel
at great personal cost
down supermarket aisles
in search of food
(and coffee, which you know
signifies impending break of fast)

kneading companion,
I’ll rhyme your tail
with my belly

sombrero fallout revisited

August 17, 2017

a thought
disguised as a cat
moves elegantly through
domestic obstacle course
the colour of light

leaps dramatically,
lands deftly,
curls up in an
appropriate shape
to worship rest

through a halfopen
window
comes the proud sound
of rain for the covered

a photographic haze
develops gradually,
humming and hanging in
the cloud-darkened room,
buffeted lightly by
swirling circles,
coming to rest
like a fatigued
balloon
on the table
strewn with
guitar detritus and misshapen
accidental flattened origami

the torn story
struggles to its feet,
grunts, and
apes the feline profile

the restaurant children

August 11, 2017

the guesthouse
where I eat
is split between by
the street,
and the food and drink
comes from the other side

regular irregularities

around me
the restaurant children
learn how to walk,
and when to
cross the road

the family staff
and teach
and practice
their Englishlanguage
politeness

genetic reverberances
make it hard to tell
who is related
to who
but certain guesses
can be made

irregular regularities

at certain points in the day
a sprawling gaggle of
school uniforms cluster
on the family vehicle,
all two wheels of it,
leaving or arriving

the youngest totter,
or are ferried around
on hips,
alternating
wails and
endless giggling

existence
elastic
in its flukes and
flourishes,
its kicks and
naps and
jacks