Spirit Lake

Her lifeless body he hauled on the lake,
The shape is frozen, snowflakes shrouding,
The silence of the ice resounding,
Where Saffron Cod and Trout will shake

Legends of graves from their fins.
At this time of year, progress is slow
For the hunters of cougars in blinding snow
And braces of ptarmigan skins.

The cairn-stones said that Time
Lacks consequence for the dead,
But then there’s much the cairns have said
Which would not reach a hunter’s rhyme.

For with diligence of seasons,
And bare bones of detective seargents’
Marriages, the mountains mirror argents
Where sheer whites bite with lesions

He was thwarted by the thawing sheet.
Secrets return to shores I have seen,
Despite exertions, and ballast being keen,
The past and future splinter and meet.

Unageing, fixed by photographs,
Friends and family remember remarks;
You resurface when a dream disembarks
And deceives, seemingly sending telegraphs,

Sometimes it is hard to tell
Whether you speak of where you are now,
Or if the mind with withered bough
Deceives between its health and hell.

Afterlife, he makes that journey every day,
Lugging the load of himself on his pelt
To where the ice-sheet starts to melt,
And we are on our way.

The Cheongsam Dream Assassin

Rumourmongers mulling made
The tale of a young assassin,
An absence of her earthly shape
And modern myths are pregnant.
She was aged twenty, and opaque,
Relatively young for assassins;
Though death rarely discriminates
Say politicians in this republic.
She wore a fine cheongsam
In red and golden fabrics,
Tasselled sleeves, I grappled
With the luxuries of Jungian
Interpretations for the lyric-dreams
Sown by an unfamiliar seaside seamstress.
She murdered her elderly grandmother
My mind’s street-peddlars reported,
(She killed men they said with just bare thighs,
Evaded detectives, and had them extorted),
Seven days before my task was fixed
To retrieve her missing earrings.
These opulent heirlooms had been lost
Mid-mission, in a Chinese restaurant’s
Red carpet, the deepest red I’d ever seen,
Like clotted blood from the neck
Of a dead Tragopan fed on Indian tulips
Stored in a rusty soup tureen.
The Dim Sum and Moo Shu pancakes
Were all covered with bamboo lids
Like the lids of braziers or buckets;
I examined the guts of Bombay Ducks,
While my accomplice found his own earrings
He too had lost, and turned to me to say
‘You know it’s a fish, the Bombay duck?’

Returning home, my daughters
Were playing in the hallway
And I was exhausted of my last luck;
The letterbox had lost its sleeve
And they could see me looking in
And reached towards me, but we
Could neither touch nor hold on to love.
Life would sound like something worthy of living
If I’d found her jewels in the carpet,
But living seems like something else,
And I am back to where I started.


Where are you now, Gao Rongrong,
And those who felt appalled;
When did they alter long war songs,
Their sympathies dissolved?
I want the men who tortured you
To tell me what was wrong;
And would they use the same on me
To praise their giblet-gods.
I see a heaven where you study,
Surrounded by loved ones;
Back down here there’s 7G,
They’re burning telephones.
There is an army, terracotta,
Of millions just like you;
We march with our stigmata
Into one more meeting room.

The Lakeside Path

There is a Preacher waiting
Beyond the seventh lodge,
These words prepared are gravitating
If goodness leaves its watch.
A Gravedigger from the village
Gave birth, to a Perpetrator’s wires,
We cannot restore the image
From before you wandered the mires;
For they excavate an oblong hole
And with a Carpenter conspire,
As single-minded as the mole,
The mole with a mind of fire.
Earthworms hoarded in his tunnels,
Thoughts down there we cannot absolve.
The criminal-in-waiting constructing funnels,
Humanity stirring sanity, when mixed dissolve,
Paid to lathe a cedar box
He slipped into the void,
The space and filling where a fox
Had life’s spiders all destroyed.
The woodland will witness silently
How soil’s disturbed so easily,
The muted lake’s complicity,
The backhoe rested queasily,
His bed a spade, his mind now trapped.
And yet these three men are moving still,
We hear the sounds of Time elapsed,
While you are stones on the furthest hill.
We remember your joyfulness and laughter,
Mellifluous more than spring-tide streams;
We love you all forever after,
In waking grief and grieving dreams.
We’ll cloak your permanent youth in gold
And resurrect your beauty;
Something happened which can’t be untold,
Conforming to spinsterly duty.
We are faster in our failing,
We carry your bones in our cages,
We are stronger when we are ailing,
We have suffered the fourteen stages.
The ingenuity is endless
Of mens’ cruelty so defenceless;
Our daughters all now friendless
For those nights loom long and senseless.
Guard the path beside the lake,
Daughters home before seven,
May you never read this at the wake,
For there are no rules in heaven.

[For S. and For U., in my thoughts and prayers when I wrote this].


Dream-time, to university returned,
The professor said as one who knows
This semester will be earned.
Widdershins, the east wind blows.
I had not seen the man before,
Subconsciously hosting his atoms;
He asked collegiate ghosts to draw
Comparisons in speech patterns
Between a cause célèbre and trigger
From forty years before, in dialectal forms.
But he applied the wrong name for the rigger,
And misquoted a decade of snowstorms.
So in a rage, I left the class,
Found between the gymnasts’ hall
And the toilets by a second molecular mass
Who urged a return to my downfall.
The academic, he divulged, was highly strung;
His mother had not long died and was dissected
By his brother; he has her micro-parts hung
From a window ledge, with prayers reflected.
This was of no interest to me, unaffected
I wanted this interloping subject to feel
The limits where truth is neglected,
Garden shears in my hands are real;
Of profuse upset caused by objectification,
Without thought for the graves and pearls,
Veracity or ethics, an inconsideration,
For two unreturnable girls.

Blood Moon

The moon burned, we bled sympathies
For perpetrators, not the victims in blue;
Producers spewing documentaries
Given a sentence or two.

A fish becomes amphibious
When the new lot beat their wings;
No one else knows innocence,
Toothlessly he sings.

Tell me there are bronze scales still,
Should I list what they did and do,
The dead are photographs on a windowsill,
While the assailing say their voice is true.

They put me in the hollow trunk,
Roadside-dumped me far from home;
They raped me in the second bunk,
I mapped the sites in a honeycomb.

They extracted my teeth,
Kidnapped adolescents,
Converted the legends we rest underneath,
Made palatable into senescence.

Brazier smoke, unspooling a roebuck,
Parole will be kind for the killers;
A pick-up truck, and out of luck;
Beyond the grid live caterpillars

Gorging purple thistle.
Fist-pumps, fireflies in a lamplight,
A night without edge is nonfissile,
Losses form a cancerous white.

A story is born with two sides, a digon;
Truth abstains, falsehood flashes incisors;
Stay away from the bar, creek and siphon,
Unwatched adverts employ fewer divers.