Production Lines

A killer resurrected
On carnival streets,
Arrested, re-sentenced,
By wigs weighing meat,
Though fogs are a prop
And a juror’s asleep.
In the filmmaker’s lens
Victims aren’t heroes,
The victims are missing,
Their paycheck’s a zero.

Each vision has errors,

Ruptures and holes, Boxed set collections, Out from death doled.
Dear Mr Producer,
What good is your lesson,
Your replays reduce
Any sanctified blessings.
You’ll profit in pounds
And buy your new houses,
From parental lost souls
And bloodstains on blouses.

Song Of The Sand

A grain of sand I did not own,
On a beach I did not know,
I kindled in my hand like sticks
Until it turned to blood and stone.
From stones there scattered
Seven pebbles, seven roots
Within the middle, and
From those roots did climb a devil;
And I did see there shoots of growth,
Of Time Above, and Life Below.

Skulldugerry and his mistress,
I have seen foul play;
A body in a brazier,
A human with no name.
They brushed their hair,
They drove to work,
Wedding planners,
Dividend perks;
We can only feel rain falling
When our eyes are blind as worms.

A bison-shaped cloud shifting
Dispersed the holiday crowds;
I was alone on the beach again
Wishing to breathe new life
Somehow, yes, through my hands,
But all that remained was the loss
Of the waves, and song of the sand.

Hallmarks

Where do they go?
Soaked in grief,

I walked to the valleys
On a road with two.

Hallmarks, a white van,
A lost dog still howling

While as dead as the moon;
There is no end, no, not soon.

For years, insomnia grew
As empathy clotted

In violets and blues.
An empty bed, a job or two.

Some returned later,
Much more as survivors,

Adults and artists,
But all were haunted

By what men might
And some indeed do.

Milwaukee

She said these words:
I can babysit, shoot a gun, and cook at the same damn time.
There are plenty of one-eyed
Rain-sodden teddy bears
On hell’s roadsides.

All the trees are used for shrines,
The trees will blow through the breeze.
There are fathers without handles
We will never find, and I believe that
One day, when they are all absent,
We will run out of candles.

British Columbia Feet

Several separate feet washed
Up on pebbled, shingled beaches,
Belonging to British Columbia
Across its furthest breaches
Over a decade, and various
Authorities slowly reached
A consensus that bodies
Which belonged to those lost
And neglected and homeless
Vagrantly inebriated
Often detach through natural
Wear and tear in salt water
Their hands, heartprints,
Feet, thighs and forearms.
It’s an explanation intriguing
Me because I have beachcombed
Many bays and inlets where
Collecting sea-glass, I have
Seen empty crab carapaces
And plastrons of unidentifiable
Species, but never did I see
A human head or teeth.
So is this what happens to
Men and women who found
Their escape on wide Pacific
Shorelines, or is there someone
Preparing their next murder
In a garage or a shed, while
His partner makes ablutions,
And prepares to go to bed.

I Went For A Walk Outside Our Hotel And This Is What I Discovered

I found a secret pond
Hidden behind our hotel,
Undisturbed by human touch
As far as I could tell.

Cow parsley abounded,
Poppies and wild orchids
As high as an ox’s haunches,
As quiet as a glade where

Kine chewed their cuds;
Harbingers of summer rain,
They survived for years
Near this pond in a spell

Without knowing.
I later researched the spot
And read in a local newspaper
(On a whirring microfilm reader

In a library which burnt down
To appease an arsonist’s wishes;
It was not rebuilt but
That’s another plot)

About a boy found nearby,
Murdered thirty years ago,
Face down in a muddy brook
Which filtered through that pond;

His body turned to browns
Then younger dust, as does
Memory, as does Love.
The ox transformed before

My eyes to become a great
Black swan with a neck as long
As a distant sun, like beams
Which slipped through our blinds

In the hotel room we shared
As I kissed your back, and
Inhaled, and found a mole
Beside your spine I had not

Observed until that afternoon,
Just like the pond and
The boy and the swan;
They all took flight.

I kissed you there as you slept,
Grateful for your affirmations,
Your vivacity, your life,
And I thought about a community

Seeking a child through
The scrub and the reeds
And the sum of all strife
They would not find alive.

Spirit Lake

Her lifeless body he hauled on the lake,
The shape is frozen, snowflakes shrouding,
The silence of the ice resounding,
Where Saffron Cod and Trout will shake

Legends of graves from their fins.
At this time of year, progress is slow
For the hunters of cougars in blinding snow
And braces of ptarmigan skins.

The cairn-stones said that Time
Lacks consequence for the dead,
But then there’s much the cairns have said
Which would not reach a hunter’s rhyme.

For with diligence of seasons,
And bare bones of detective seargents’
Marriages, the mountains mirror argents
Where sheer whites bite with lesions

He was thwarted by the thawing sheet.
Secrets return to shores I have seen,
Despite exertions, and ballast being keen,
The past and future splinter and meet.

Unageing, fixed by photographs,
Friends and family remember remarks;
You resurface when a dream disembarks
And deceives, seemingly sending telegraphs,

Sometimes it is hard to tell
Whether you speak of where you are now,
Or if the mind with withered bough
Deceives between its health and hell.

Afterlife, he makes that journey every day,
Lugging the load of himself on his pelt
To where the ice-sheet starts to melt,
And we are on our way.

The Cheongsam Dream Assassin

Rumourmongers mulling made
The tale of a young assassin,
An absence of her earthly shape
And modern myths are pregnant.
She was aged twenty, and opaque,
Relatively young for assassins;
Though death rarely discriminates
Say politicians in this republic.
She wore a fine cheongsam
In red and golden fabrics,
Tasselled sleeves, I grappled
With the luxuries of Jungian
Interpretations for the lyric-dreams
Sown by an unfamiliar seaside seamstress.
She murdered her elderly grandmother
My mind’s street-peddlars reported,
(She killed men they said with just bare thighs,
Evaded detectives, and had them extorted),
Seven days before my task was fixed
To retrieve her missing earrings.
These opulent heirlooms had been lost
Mid-mission, in a Chinese restaurant’s
Red carpet, the deepest red I’d ever seen,
Like clotted blood from the neck
Of a dead Tragopan fed on Indian tulips
Stored in a rusty soup tureen.
The Dim Sum and Moo Shu pancakes
Were all covered with bamboo lids
Like the lids of braziers or buckets;
I examined the guts of Bombay Ducks,
While my accomplice found his own earrings
He too had lost, and turned to me to say
‘You know it’s a fish, the Bombay duck?’

Returning home, my daughters
Were playing in the hallway
And I was exhausted of my last luck;
The letterbox had lost its sleeve
And they could see me looking in
And reached towards me, but we
Could neither touch nor hold on to love.
Life would sound like something worthy of living
If I’d found her jewels in the carpet,
But living seems like something else,
And I am back to where I started.