"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."

 – Henry David Thoreau

Who killed poor George Floyd

Who killed old poor George Floyd,
who made his life null and void?
“Not me” said the cop who stomped on his neck
“I was just tryin’ to keep the man in check.”

Ain’t no words

An’t no words, ain’t no actions,
ain’t no turgid explanations
Ain’t no thieves, ain’t no captains,
ain’t no dirty complications

I bow my head

​In Autumn, Spring, or both, write the leaves that fall, bud, blossom or bloom
and children summoned after breakfast, clean plates, wash hands, to tidy up their room

If only

If only I’d had one moment
if only I’d had some time
if only you’d let me make some still small sense
of this imaginary rhyme

Sleep

If I go down to the water I can see it,
momentarily –
It reveals itself in the ripples, as if it’s winking,
slyly, at me

The way we live

Fires are burning, lines are bracing
Nights in silence, hearts are racing
Tongues are wagging, shelves are clearing
help arrives, for the hard of hearing

I’m not here

I’m no longer here –
I’ve been in the papers, they use the word “tragedy”, a tragedy of sorts –
no longer able to breathe, that crash, others thrown clear –
a moment’s indecision, words that mean nothing, the prayers and the thoughts –

Somewhere in the world

The mattress is comfortable, our neighbours are kind –
they gave us some spare clothes to wear –
our Father went over to the promised land –
he told us he’d wait for us there.

Writing to a friend (Part 1)

Why would you bother,
with any of it, with any of it at all,
with nowhere to lay your head,
it spinning like a ball.

The wise are filled with doubt

I sat with my professors
philosophise as they teach
“be careful,” they said “of the walls of sound,
in conclusions that you reach.”

The Road

The road is filled with burning wood
people leaving, told they should
grab some clothes and hit the road
and hear the windows behind explode

Castle in my mind

My neighbour, with his driveway entrance,
hardwood double doors
and the multi-level rooms,
over gleaming, silk-screen shores

Freedom

This freedom of speech, how do you defend it
is it so close to your heart that you need to befriend it
dignified silence, jettisoned, forgotten
views contrary, sullied, putrid and rotten

Hell

In Dante’s Inferno, when trying to describe
the houses of Hell’s lamentations 
the torments, the trials, laid quick to ascribe
amidst the curses and blessings of nations

Why would you want to be old?

My days are numbered I know that well
it is why I’m stuck here in this living hell
the biscuits stale, the tinkle of tea
and the nurses told not to bother with me

We’re not to blame

It’s not our fault, we’re not to blame
we’re just trying to maintain our freedom
we mine our dark materials, this is not a game
because there are other poor people who need ‘em

One day closer every day

Sheep droop jaw and hooves split in the stumble for the hay,
eager teeth picking at the stubble and the crust
Knees buckle their hollow humble eyes stare down and absorb
what was mud is now unsullied deep red dust

The sweet sweet sound

There’s a sweet sweet sound moving across the settled ground
it whispers in my ear in the morning
like a solitary breeze that whistles through the trees
and summons all the birds to cease their yawning

What are we made of?

What are we made of? asks the child who cries
who just wants a toy she can play with
or to ask most politely before she dies
“is there someone out there I can stay with.”

A place to breathe

My, what a lovely place you have
you must be very proud
I love your modern furniture
and the space that you’ve allowed

The lifestyle you ordered

The lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock
our warehouse has been stripped of supplies
our people are working around the clock
to ensure you get your hands on the prize

I remembered yesterday

I remembered yesterday the times that I have with you
And visions of the grateful days and all that I have wished for you

One day

There’s a ghost selling memories down by the shore
as a jury decides its fate
there’s a man of religion knocking at my door
I need to lie down, he can wait.