The Fall

Small boys sell silver bullets
at the road side, for emergency

use only. In the Land of the Free
clockwork sheep graze sleepless fields.

Do they dream of a lambing
snow tumbling from neon skies?

Do they recall punch-drunk
poppies beyond the electric fence?

The mocking bird twitters
from his gilded tower. Syncopated

rhythms pump black gold.  Blood
moons rise. Hunters summon the blue

-eyed to the door. She drives north
as a skein of geese flies the other way.

 

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Photographic image created by the author

The Hole

One morning, when you are least expecting you
wake up a hole
in your abdomen, a salivating
red circle, slap bang middle of the soft
flesh beneath your ribs,
big enough to fit two fingers.
You feel no pain, just uncomfortably numb.
There’s a hole and you can’t recall
what was there before. You try not to look,
put a sock in it and Elastoplast over the top.
After fruitless Googling you
ring in sick and visit the doctor.
She’s wearing lipstick and a feather boa.
She advises vitamin D and camomile tea.
Just one of those things, she smiles and hands you
a free whale music CD on your way out.
Next day, you wake feeling cold.
The ceiling is scabbed with mould.
There’s a strange smell in the room, like geraniums.
When you study the hole, it’s become a tunnel
and you cannot see the end.
You shine a torch and for a moment
glimpse the white shriek of an eyeball.
On the last day
you wake before dawn.
The cornflakes taste stale and you’re out of bread.
You worry about office dead
-lines and the state
of the carpet where the cat is digging for gold.
You take a hot bath and try not to look.
Through the opening you
hear the trill of bird song.

 

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Photo created by the author

Selling Sanctuary

I’m in a small cold place
perched on the edge, the solo late

night representative of Shell.
I’m researching the after

-life, heaven or hell, really can’t tell.
Muffled shadows shift beyond bullet

-proof glass, reveal inner
shit. Look away, look away.

Unleaded or diesel, Red Bull or Rizla,
Twix or a bit of smut, reformed

cheese sarnies, sausage rolls, Golden
Wonder or a pint full cream.

I don’t give a damn, all pie in the sky.
Make sure you buy before you die.

Dive in from the black
well into my bright, where pumped up

demons and angels self
-service, sniff hydro-carbon light.

It is the hour of the wolf,
and we are all overdue.

 

924A3177-2CA2-4523-92BD-7994954BE0C2
Photo created by the author

 

 

The Magic Mirror

I am the eye in the wall, unblinking
as you twist in your dreams.

I am mistress of deceit calling you,
naming you, mornings and evenings.

I am silver and pure delight
of thin brittle skin slithering

over your shame. Like winter
I bite envy into your bones.

Mermaids swoon in my whirlpools.
Beetles and lizards creep, frogs doze

in my tangled borderlands.
White lilies wither to bronze beneath

your selfie gaze. My heart
is a diamond you will never find.

You so want to break me
but you will only break yourself.

 

7BEC8509-84C1-4A09-8771-9DCD296B7F45
Image created by the author

 

 

The Selection

The secretary drafts the cries of babies through the opening.
She grades them in order of urgency. Some have already given up.

In the waiting room the candidates twitch in their red plastic cots.
There is an overwhelming smell of sick and shitty nappies.

The secretary ushers in the Headmaster, offers
coffee and biscuits, remembering to flirt with her spider eyes.

 

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Photo by the author

Musings of an Ordinary Sea Pebble

Me and my mates, we rub together
swell. We’ve been here forever, fretting.
Different shapes and colors,
we jigsaw, see-saw on the front line.

We rise and fall, small tectonic shifts,
comrades waiting for the ultimate surge.
You’ll find me in the fiftieth row from the left
by the turbulence of the harbor wall.

It’s a fine spot, plenty of action.
I pass unnoticed, I’m not the brightest.
Some call me dull. I call it French
Grey, camouflaged by elegant swirls.

Poor Fred and Ginger were striking
red, arty types with a sense of style.
They were snatched away to a suburban
rockery. It’s always better to blend in.

There’s a rumor drifting from below,
the Big One will sweep us to unknown fields.
Hear us mutter, hear us moan,
the rainbow legions of change.

 

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Artwork by the author