seen from above

the city is beautiful

when seen from above

neat and symmetrical and clean

at dronefall though the people are ragged

they appeared two-dimensional

on the grandmaster’s plan

like ants with less purpose

they move through the maze

forever fearing high water

but the city is beautiful

when seen from above

fly the flag

fly the flag
fly the flag higher
fly the flag high in the sky

tear the flag down
tear it, tear the flag down
tear it, tear the flag to the ground

burn the flag
water the ashes
wash the ashes to the waiting sea

one day
one day
the flag will fly
fly high

The Child ran out

The Child ran out into the road, monkeys in their arms. For the adults nearby time stopped. The sound of the breeze through the trees was silenced, colours faded and hearts froze. For the Driver thinking of arriving home soon the world would never be the same.

The Child walked into the room, arms full of two toy monkeys, and sat down.
Adult 1 smiled. ‘I like your monkeys.’
‘It’s one monkey and one ape’ said the Child.
‘Oh?’ Adult 1 smiled again. ‘What’s the difference?’
‘Monkeys have tails and apes don’t. And other things.’
‘I see. Thank you. I always wondered.’
The Child smiled and Adult 1’s heart broke.

Adults 1, 2 and 3 introduced themselves. The Child kept turning towards the door.
‘They’re not coming, I’m afraid,’ said Adult 2. ‘They were halfway here when they changed their mind and asked to go back.’
‘But they said they would!’ the Child shouted. ‘They promised.’
‘I’m sorry but you know how it is,’ said Adults 1, 2 and 3 in their different ways.
‘No!’ said the Child. ‘No!’
The Child stood up and ran out of the room and through the front doors. The Adults chased after the Child, shouting the Child’s name. The Child ran out into the road, monkeys in their arms.

Going on a date with a poet

One day, he swore,he would explore the west, track the settled sun until it surrendered to the blind-black sky, then follow its path by its reflection in the moon and stars. I shall be a solarnaut, a helionaut, an explorer of the wildest west, where the rivers meet the sanded sea, and the animals finally swim to their nirvana, eyes wide open to the shining ribbon on the squid-ink sea.

Well, I think the light over the gasworks is pretty neat, I said, regretting again going on a date with a poet.

Then the awakening

Anger, thick old-blood red anger,
the fury that drives you to drink
to drink till the black velvet settles
soft feathers that smother your breath

And so sleep. The sleep of dreams
of people and horses and places once known
their lives continue when you are no longer
their lives continue though you are now gone

Perhaps some calm sleep
Perhaps some deep sleep with no nightmares
no eyelids fluttering or moths in the night
but the calm of the sea when the wind has forgotten
when the wind has forgotten its nature and calling
cracking no cheeks for children are silent
the storms of grey seabirds have spiralled and landed
the sea oil smooth, angered colours of sunset

Then the awakening and the bed is still empty
empty the bed and the room and the world
head slopping with sorrow and hope that is absent
you are gone you are gone you are gone you are gone
never my life the blinding injustice
I hold tight to my belly and smile