Hinterland

Hinterland

Hinterland

 

They say it doesn’t rain here much, often, but

when it does, canopies of merciless cloud snuff out

 

every last square of the sky, hanging about the fields

like a quarrel, forgotten without ever being resolved,

 

and empty themselves in angled swipes that paste

both barley and nettles to the red earth, bleeding into

 

the leather boots and loafers of commuters on trains,

who steam coolly in their seats all the way into Waverley.

 

 

first published in Southlight Magazine, 2017

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The Martian view of Earth

Lichen crop


The Martian view of Earth

 

No lines are drawn in their way of perceiving things
between seeing, hearing, and everything else, so

we appear as short bursts of frantic energy, obsessed
with purpose and radiation of certain wavelengths.

To them, the Earth is not, of course, ‘The Earth’,
any more than Mars is ‘Mars’. Words; just another

endearing quirk we get so excited about. They are
puzzled by our fixation with the idea of the nation state,

and its attendant border security, flags and anthems,
but also by lawnmowers, and by the peculiar concept

of fish fingers, there being neither fish nor even fingers
as such on their planet, the one we think of as ‘red’.

 

first published in The High Window, issue 7, 2017

 

The view from Dmitri’s apartment

the-view-from-dmitris-apartment

The view from Dmitri’s apartment

 

The four lanes of the road, with its

fickle asphalt, appeared to be

straight, in the same way that the

horizon makes the Earth look flat;

only from a certain perspective,

or with undamaged wings, can

you truly appreciate its curve, yet

somewhere beyond our sight, it

began that imperceptible turn to the

left. Eventually, it would wrap itself

right around the entire city, in an

orbit of imperfect symmetry, and

come back to this very point, where

it was, in fact, beginning to quietly

eat itself. So all those people we

could see walking, seven floors below,

sand grains at the mercy of something

unseen, or else riding in buses and

on bicycles, were never really going

anywhere. And the fields and trees,

the cemeteries visible on the other

side, were probably nothing more than

a painting, or a collage of assorted

illusions the width of a whole

continent, unfurling itself eastwards

as far as our eyes could travel.

 

first published in Sweet Tree Review, Volume 1, Issue 3, 2016