Thoughts from an early morning train
Strange how certain things – whilst falling apart –
take on shapes that almost seem deliberate,
as though planned that way, as though this
were merely a truer angle to see them from.
A reassembly of ideas. A reversal of mirrors.
So you become the terrified hare cowering in
the tractor wheel ruts as the carriage spears by,
not the owner of the jaded eyes witnessing it.
You always have been. You see holes now
where once there were pegs, an illusion of
opportunity created by yourself, by your own
shadow sweeping across the picture as you pass.
first published in Across The Margin, 2017
Not only is The Pangolin Review named after my favourite creature I’ve never seen, it’s editor Amit Parmessur has been kind enough to publish one of my poems in the latest issue.
You can find “An old friend” by clicking here and scrolling down about two-thirds of the way, though you’re very likely to get distracted as you go. My thanks to Amit for including my poem.
I’m really pleased to have had two of my poems published in the latest issue of Otoliths, which is – as usual – full of intriguing things. You can check out “Living next door to a man who keeps pigeons” and “I want to kill your dog” here.
Many thanks to Otoliths editor Mark Young for choosing to include these two pieces.
I’m delighted to have two of my poems – “C” and “Last view of the island” – included in the February 2018 issue of Red River Review. You can read both these poems and a fine collection of others by clicking here, and following the link from the homepage.
My thanks to editors Bob McCranie and Michelle Hartman.
Call me a bit slow, but…
…it was almost exactly two of those
old-fashioned, pre-decimal years later,
on the other side of the world, and I was
nursing a rusted old dragon of a truck
down a red road you could see streaking by
through the lacy floor of the cab. And it was
just after midday, because the shadows
were mean and riveted on, and I don’t
know why, but all of a sudden I realised
you’d actually meant what you’d said,
that they hadn’t been just giddy, disposable,
2 a.m. words you might say to almost anyone
at all, to be laughed off the next day, like dust
from a mirror. It was possible that if I eased
further off the gas, I wouldn’t get back until
everything was already picked and safely in
the chiller. And I wondered if those brahmans,
drawn and incongruously skeletal in such a
fleshy, civilised country, would be nosing
around in their paddock again, grazing on
fresh air, amazing me that they survived.
First published in San Pedro River Review, Spring 2017
Sometimes there is no sign of a struggle.
Perhaps they are brought to the house already dead,
molested a little, and then abandoned.
They seem more forlorn this way, inert and muted,
like they simply fell from the sky and managed
to land underneath this particular chair in the kitchen,
or in the middle of apparently random spaces.
It’s different when they’ve put up a fight, however
futile; the scattering of fragments will spread
to several rooms. The heavier feathers
hang like jetsam, beached and unmoving,
while the down, with its filigree whisperings,
takes flight whenever a door opens, almost lighter
than the air it would’ve been used to capture.
first published in Mad Swirl, 2016
Of course dogs love the same way we do,
even if our human minds narrow it into loyalty
or faithfulness with their busy machinery.
She kept me awake all night, pacing,
balancing the certain with the uncertain:
back and forth; back and forth.
Her claws fretted the kitchen floor,
eyes on the darkened windows,
nosing the strange air in search of
any familiar molecules of her master,
but finding none. All the while
those anonymous surgeons were
spinning his life like a china plate,
piecing together the broken heart,
somewhere on the edge of a nearby town.
first published in Scrittura, Issue 2, 2015