Song Of The Lone Nomad

He steered into town
From the Elephant Road –
Historical misnomer;
For the locals don’t know
Where ivories go

So kept the tusk-gates open.
He peered from his howdah
With a bowlful of chowder
Atop a crowning dust-cloud;
And vials of musth

Faked from the husk
Of Arctic walrus,
Narwhal or seal.
Opulent earring,
Summer sun searing,

The townsfolk gathered
In wonder and thrall.
His name did not matter
And nor did his platter
Bestowing cassowary galls.

He talked of cladistics,
Gujarati mystics
Seven-feet tall,
Harmonious yoga,
Callisthenics diploma

He kept in a scroll.
Sirenian slaves
And a third murdered charmer,
He talked of mermaids
Braiding a harbour,

Catastrophes, yes,
And distant disasters.
Just as curious as his arrival,
Hostage to his survival,
He departed on plumes of fern,

Turning dirt to marble,
When the district police descended
There was no apprehending,
He crossed alive into Nepal
And left the dead to marvel.

Ode To A Parking Lot, No.2

Grief, do not disparage me,
Do not diminish my yearning
To observe the rites I will learn
In turn, by rote, just as oceans
Spurn the lode in mackerel bones
And whiting dreams and cod,
Fulfilling the needs in fishermen’s
Ganseys and hand-made
Tablecloths their wives
Once ironed, having washed,
On kitchen benches draped across,
Though sometimes a trawler
Or two were lost and the sea,
With blind unfeeling disbelieving
Reasons breeding in their peaks
And troughs, duplicitous sea,
Brought home only grief and loss,
Those I have known and those
I have not, as I cried on my own
At midnight in a parking lot.

A Dose Of Gothic, Part 2

I looked at my pillow,
My pillow turned red;
I called a physician,
He said it’s your stress.
Your pillow was white
As a ghost in a bed,
If I’m not mistaken
Your ghost has since bled.
The ghost of your sanity,
Do not be misled,
She called out profanities
When shot on the bedspread;
Then the ghost of your pride
Who ate her own legs,
And the incumbent bride
Without any flesh
Or corporeal content
On shoulders so slender
Bereft of her head;
Is it no wonder
Your pillow is red.

I gripped the night-doctor,
Foreboding fuelled dread;
I shook him for sense
As he cut off the phone line,
My voice and mouth wed.
I washed the case for a week and a day;
The more I washed, the redder betrayed
Like a Sun on Blood Moon or
Bald eagle days, I lost myself
To a dark disarray. They found me,
The officers, odd notebooks in hand,
With the doctor beside me,
His gunsmoke criss-crossing
This smouldering land,
My blood turned to white,
My last soul unmanned.

Traffic Light Soul

At a traffic light, roadworks,
The jamming pressed their
Collective thumb-horns
For those cars tailed back
From a year before I was born
In scales of a summer storm.

I did not know I’d end up here,
A tear in my eye where
Many lost worlds formed,
Places I’d seen with cathedrals
And parks and riverside scenes,
Caught like a fly in my eyelid.

Someone exited their vehicle
And tapped exasperatedly
At my window. I wound down
The production-line glass
And noticed for the first time
A kitemark for British Standards

Engraved in the corner;
These days, it’s an oxymoron.
I found myself wondering
Whether my soul had already
Dissolved, or whether a steady
Dripping away occurs through

Various stoppers and plugs,
Like prayers, like rosaries,
Dogmas, dharma, traditions.
These days in my country
The scientists have deserted,
Prophets can be purchased.

He was still shouting,
The man in the street
Using expletives.
I wound up the window
And drove away but not before
Drying my eyes, foot on the clutch

Finding first gear,
Revving the engine,
Rain matted hair, lightning beats,
I smiled for the first time
In so many years,
Running over his feet.