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.

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.

I – No Closed Circles

They tell me death is the maker
Of all strength, corpses imbue me
With rigor mortis as they fall.

I do not accept this parting gift.
Letting it slide through gaps
Between translucent fingers.

They put a beat to my heartbeat:
A finger on the pulse of the world
Is a telephone line, I hang up.

I analyse literary lines, and find
They all say the same things.
I do not say anything.

I say: grief is an oscillating wave –
There is nothing I can save.
There is nothing I must save.

Monster

Excavating from the self, the monster,
Self sees Other with eyes of a monster.

Alone on spiraling paths they wander;
They’ve lost their map to an ancient monster.

Sifting through books, she tries to joss the
Fables the imposter has spun of a monster.

The thick purple dusk will lie and conjure,
But longer golden dawn lets in the monster.

Two clones – same bones, the flesh, systemic roster;
Which is truer? this itself, a monster.

I say, your mirror image will alter;
You best lie with weapons, await the monster.