Walking Fast

The schoolmates, having grown up from the past,
Streets ahead vast, they hold hands, walking fast.

Old white man in a straw hat at boarding
With his last pot of honey, walking fast.

Swells of round hips can push a path through crowds;
If asked, she’d say the key is walking fast.

Cities are crawling over the thick jungle
Earthen crust never masters walking fast.

Peeling from glass, the café sign flutters
At half-mast; still the queue is walking fast.

This is where your ‘can’ becomes a ‘must’ –
How dastardly that time was born walking fast!

Fern says: never fish for hope in airspace,
The lines you cast are walking, walking fast.

Form

The form of free verse
is always your own
pickled words removed
from jars of salad;
Shaking a new spice
from old cabinets,
manufacturing
each day, month or year.
And if you could hand-make
measuring cups,
invent new units?
Then that is just what
Your form could be.

Cotton Candy Machine

The cotton candy machine is out of control.
Sugar, cycloning from the epicentre
And now we are breathing bright dust.

The worst is this: I can’t see where you are.
You are dark scribbles on the pink cloud
A crayon drawing – disintegrating.

But maybe I pick this apart with thin sticks,
Twirling together a thread that leads
From Point A to Point B,
To your hand along the way.

Three Tanka

I
Through cellular cells
Litanies of undone tunes
Are alluring me;
Flies carousel to honey
As I propel these wind-thoughts.

II
Rummaging through pearls
Sitting in mother’s treasure
The calcium bone hair
Has to have come from somewhere—
Fingertips wedded to sin.

III
Though the hue changes
On the stained-glass sea,
Grey dissolving red,
Windows still screech when shattered;
Blood will still dry if spattered.

Schoolyard

A lumbering predator
Cornered by prey
In a dark room
Lined with wire.

Stone feet pick between
Spindle-sharded grass;
The appetite dulls, I say:
I’m not hungry.

Hysterical rabbits
Spin flustered clouds
Of babbling acids
In moisture-muddled air.

Pinwheels of red
Darting in darkness;
Their wild whizzing fears
Frighten them dead –

They are still screaming
Long after I leave.

Weather

Soft pale gold sunrise
Falls in spindles across seas
That are filtering
Silent through my closed fingers
Casting droplets on the grass.

Skyward, grey wisps brew
Rolling waves of white thunder
You don’t see the rain
Looming there with frigid stare
And anxious crows departing.

IV – Metamorphosizing

My hands are stained
The colour of butterfly peas
And butterfly wings
Iridescence on onyx
And the blue sapphires like eyes
Peering from between pale creases.

Did you think otherwise? I’m sorry
Apologies make people uncomfortable
Like the irises of a painting
Palms open containing evidence
Of all the insects I’ve crushed
Between these unwrinkled fingers.

The colour of death is blotched
Bruises grape-like growing on the exoskeleton
But you live in a world of fenced-off forests:
Your hands stain
The colour of my dead butterflies
Fingers pinching, constricting things to dust –

You know what I mean? No
Other person can understand what either of us
Hides inside our fists
But I understand
That my hands are stained
That you have stained them
For good.

Bottle Caps

Bottle caps may be holding out on us,
Puckered, scrunched up, plastic stoppers, they are
Do you ever think bottle caps repress?

Bottle caps may be holding out on us,
Screwing so snugly against a glass rim
Stubbornly hiding away the contents.

Puckered, scrunched up, plastic stoppers, they are
Keeping us from the taste of the juice
The feeling, the smell – only colour gets through.

Do you ever think bottle caps repress?
For what is colour? the lie of the juice
That could be sugar water dyed orange.