Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Earwig Pit

Selecting fruit from the dish on the coffee table
you don't see
how afraid she is
of peach pits,
since that one when she was a child
and the earwigs
came hording out of the hole
where the stalk had been.
More than you could ever have imagined
would fit in that tiny space.
How their shiny segments
must have twisted together inside,
like a liver brown seed
waiting to expel itself
on a white cotton bedcover
at the first wet bite
and break into a myriad
of squirmy antennae and cerci.
She takes a peach from the bowl
as though she has never
seen a liver break into a river
across the white counterpane
of her mother’s bed.

Graduation Tomorrow


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Starlight Wish

They walked beneath
the evening willows
that dabbled in the river
as grey eels ribbon danced
among stems of weed.

The First Noel
fluted above distant traffic
and restaurant murmur.

His eyes were shining
and constant as the ripple
and flow of water.

'I love you' he said
and gave her a star
to wear on her breast.

'Beautiful' she said
with all the hair
on her chinny chin chin
bristling in starlight.

'Beautiful' he said.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I'll leave you
in late afternoon
with light slanting
away over hilltops
and grass growing
cool and dark.

You were not
the halo encircling
my madonna face
after all,

just another baby
turning in against my breast.
There's no food of me left,

just a shuck of cornsilk
straggled from the last ears
of a late harvest.

Oh but how the severed cord
bleeds a vacancy, bright
red and wetly shining
through these dry years.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


Lighten up, he says.

She unzips her eyes
mouths the weightless silence
of butterflies.

Hand opens to reveal
the peach baby
drowsing in her fist.

All her programs are incomplete
photographs of damage and distortion.

Her backbone is laced to her face
as she turns
there is a spinal column -
skin in stitches.

How each thread pulls
its weight.

These are the messages of butterflies -
not light.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Last Chance Saloon

I've talked to so many Bobs
evaded their kiss
thrown them out at closing time
when I'm the only sober person in the bar.
Sometimes it's not fun
being sober
I tune in to the smooth whiskey
Steely Dan
from the juke box instead.
Wipe tables
try to push straggler
regulars to finish their drinks.
I just wanna go home.
They're looking for a party
don't they know they're 45 years late?
Too late/drunk/smelly to be cool
any more.
They've lost focus/
turn nasty when they realise
smoking is banned here now
cry when they realise
drunks aren't cool no more
go home
go fall in the gutter
I can't help
can't help myself

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Orange is the colour of trouble,
a warning to be still
and look around you
for the hunter's pit
beneath a carpet of leaves,
the cliff edge
behind a screen of trees.

The sleeper stirs and turns
unaware that love has left
in the early hours of dark.
Unconscious of the cooling
pool of sheet beside him.

In his dream the sky is alight
with carrot coloured flames
of angel hair.

Chicken Noodles

We dangle like a silver ornament
without string, deep in the dark sky -
a sun stone, broken open to reveal
the lighted cabin where they serve
chicken noodle meals and roast lamb,
sandwiches, and coke of course.
How will the plane find our way home
when all around us is night.