Amazonia

Californian seraph,
Amazonian wraith,
Stalking through forests,
Turning those graves
Where quarriers
Profits had gold
Coffins laid
Alongside cousins,
Flemish Margraves and
Iberian Dukes,
Escudos in pockets
Left by their brains.

With ivy and apples
You’d rise and reclaim;
Brazil-nut trees high
Over canopies rein
While moss runs amok
In their orbital cups;
Epiphytal orchids
Climbing kapoks.

Institutionless,
Nature’s state;
No surgeons here,
No interest rates;
The only needles
Are pines which bore
A broth, a braid.
No wills feeding
Outbreaks in swine,
No dates, no petrol,
No courts and no crime;
Just miles and miles
In greens and whites.

And so they raped you
With tractors and bulls;
Cattle for steak,
Dipped mint and a port;
Wines from their grapes,
A knife and a sword.
They lamented your loss
As they burnt you twice
On cruciform wood;
We can still hear today
The faraway hums
Where they
Buried you under
Highways and slums.
Dismantled to fatten
The lenders for life,
They will no more
Sustain us
Than unwatered rice.

The Postman Always Knocks Thrice

A postman’s signature
Knock, three raps
And then another,
On the doorstep
A parcel’s born
And the coffee mugs
We ordered have arrived.
Underwhelming gift,
Little porcelain
Counter-intuitive
Surprises unsurprising,
For their smaller size,
With William Morris
Designs also seen on
Wallpapers, on rugs,
Are purposeful
Only for espressos,
Yet portrayed online
As substantial mugs.

With a greater global
Population, and less cocoa
Germination in Ghana
And the Ivory Coast,
Chocolate bars are half
The length they used to be,
Or even a third, in 1985,
Yet with the expense
Aligned to inflation
A hidden cost is greater.
They think we have not
Noticed, nor the momemt
When one day there may also
Be less milk in a pint.

Board games too, observed;
We played a game just
Yesterday where the stage
Back in the day felt
Expansive, with nuances
And details now long-lost,
Like ancient adverbs
In etymologies. And so
It is the same with politics,
A contraction and reduction
Of facts and elements
That seemed before to matter;
Was there ever a fabric
Of truth? And technologies
Engender a similar impact
On relationships and
Workplaces and families
And finances as everything
Condenses in to the will
Of a small belligerent
Minority, stars and planets
Swallowed fully into
Unforgiving black holes
Fuelled by testosterone.

The only advantage to me
Is if mid-passion you’d turn
In our near dotage
Cupping my wrinkled face
To say it’s not what it was Nick,
But seems a great deal less,
While robo-postmen
Knock three times downstairs
With smaller parcels again,
Commercialism minimising
Like inner Matryoshka dolls,
I would say definitively
Darling, nothing is the same
As when first we fell in love.

Song Of The Atlantic Horseshoe Crab

Translucent blood siphoned
With syringes and pipes,
Your fluid inundates
Troughs, factory
Managers desperate
For profitable results
Turn graphs upside down
Just like the crabs in
The robotic hands
Of night-shift staff.

There are thousands
Of shelled companions
Held in vices and
Archaic contraptions
As far as the visiting
Eye can see.
Atavistically
They expected far
More universal blinks
On east coast sandbanks
With lamallae fins
Flicked like pages
In a novella
Held by the idle illiterate
Hand of the God
Of The Very Last
Sea Breeze.

Then your blood
Infused by oxygen
Turns to liquid blue
Like the manager’s
Nightcap Curaçao
Or a football team’s shirt
Sponsored by the industry,
And it is that cobalt
Saline-bred
Iridiscence
Giant pharmaceutical
Ostriches desire
In their hunt for clean
Chemical equipment.

So, sad specimens,
You are ritualistically
Exsanguinated
In factories where
Strip lighting flickers
And the workforce
Experience nightmares
Where crabs with giant
Poisonous incisors
Triumphantly cut
Out their underpaid hearts
On a daily basis.
Many awake at dawn
With sweat in their
Underwear.
The inventive
Revenge of Nature,
Your feet are your flags
And you sing in your sleep
For your native place
Where waves are high
And the waters are green
And the rockpools are deep.

They drop you off from tractors
Half-asleep, numb beneath
Layers of geology
Stored in your heart beat.
It’s worse for the males
Sometimes, too tired
To reproduce, and sometimes
For the larger females,
Caught in a predatory way
And unable to move.

What the trustees did not realise
With all those dollars counted,
Is that when the final carapace
Turns upside down, empty,
Hollow, held aloft
By a boy on the beach,
Like a sand timer with cracks,
Humanity’s luck falls out.

Green Box

In this Age of Self
A season is sold as Forever,
And newness is on the Eternal Shelf
If we afford the commercial endeavour.
There are no sporting journalists
Sadly in a pandemic,
Soon to be joined by financiers
Leaving morticians and the medics.
The ad stats are not too clever:
Seventy-five and a third respondents
Said the shampoo made a difference;
Whoever saw a third of a woman
Other than magicians?
There are body bags in ice rinks,
Palacio de Helio is straining
Yet my neighbour is complaining
Of garden waste collections paused.
In Antofagasta it is raining,
Air pollution dissipating,
Crime levels are abating,
All my footprints once had caused.