Edenless / Endless

A lioncub played with hyenas
And complained
When they laughed
At his pride;
And a cuttlefish caught in nets
When striving to retreat
In longcoat-lines
Is poor man’s salmon disguise;
And a sparrowhawk’s
Airborne shortening,
Quickening breath
In the heat of the heart
Of a wasp nest demise;
These creatures died
With a startled sharpness
Keener than their births
And the girdle
Of this whole earth
In their eyes,
All are victims more to mankind
And man’s disease of language,
And man’s demeaning mind,
To subjugate, and classify;
Nature is nature’s intent alone,
There’s no greater or lesser divide
Than between you and I,
So I won’t be so shocked
When I rest my sore head
On an Edenless bed,
Aspic words preserve the lie.

Across The Glens

Across the glens
And through the trees

In Monarch antlers
Pollen breeze

We’d meet with love
And remedies.

A stagnant pond,
A ferrous stream,

By dreaming frogs who
Spoke in croaks of

Folklore and their journeys,
They woke a whisper of moths

Under mossy lichen-logs
Where we sat, held hands

And fell asleep in folds
Of wisdom and each other’s

Loss as if in blankets or ferns.
No one else could understand,

There’s no one quite like
You and me, for compassion’s

Company, not a single queen
Or king or woman or man,

Across the glens
And burning land.

The Drowning Bride

The Queen of the Skies retired,
Long live our runway king;
Her assignation had three names,
It’s best not to question pretence.

Eulogies for a fuselage,
Front pages in the press,
But forestries are macadam
And all the workers left.

Newsreaders are enthusing,
A partisan casting and bribe,
Like praising skills of a killer,
Some words as sharp as knives.

They’ll read from flooded desks,
Drenched laptops and manilla files,
By sinking sails and tillers,
About my drowning bride.

First Finches

First finches having landed,
Found a suitable place to nest
In rooftiles’ gapped teeth.

Lichen gums, worn enamel,
A tap that can’t be turned off,
I live in a land of crow’s feet

And magpies as relentless as
Camels traversing Saharan
Landscapes. I remember beads,

Kaftans, strange dreams of
Otherworldly animals
Drinking from a sandy stream.

These finches did not know
The motives of crows; now
All I hear is a constant alarm

Like a monotone screech,
A warning, a rallying call to live,
Though their breasts may be

As small as young dwarf
Coconuts before they fall
On undiscovered islands.

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.

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.