V.76

God will save you from this event
and here is how – she will give you
an soft egg, a beautiful egg.
Last one in the supermarket

cracked on the sun-baked shelf. And meat
reams and reams of gently rotting
meat in plastic packets. She wills
the whole toilet industry act,

to provide you with something clean
and needed to deck the cistern.
The power she weilds provides you
cans of sharp green beer, to last out.

And then, just in case, everyday
God in her grace provides to you
in the form of a pub, out there
in the garden, your salvation.

The pandemic will now return
all your neuroses in new forms,
stronger forms, forms like journalists,
videos of ventilators.

The fear of death will wipe you out
courtesy of God herself, show
you the emptiness of requests.
And then, silence. Your miracle.

V.75

When mercury was first designed,
it was as a lesson. Silver
and undulant like nothing else,
disguised as a solid jewel

Have you ever spilled it? It’s like
letting out a secret, unthought
and feeling the moral landscape
shift and set snare traps in your gut.

It’s fractal til it disappears,
like the ramifications of
any action. It rolls across
the surfaces with great interest.

It’s vapours send us mad, and fish
become mercurial in this
disregard they have of our minds.
To be quite fair, who could blame them.

In landfill sites across the world
it falls, year after year, into
the sources of our deepest fear.
Our breath stutters at its slick thought.

‘This is a tricky thing’ they said.
Listing it on the slate of things –
alongside sex, and time, and dreams,
and cave paintings, and tv

V.74 Response to ‘Dreaming of a Butterfly’ by Sakutaro Hagiwara

Justo Judicio Dei
condemnatus sum. I dream that –
due to some sin I am sprawled out
on a sofa, weighed down by wings.

I have been turned into a large
butterfly, whose wings were not meant
to be so large, and now crumble,
leaving pearlescent blue-green shards.

Rain recedes against the window
or, more likely, just a grey sky.
“SHOULDN’T YOU BE AT WORK, MY GOD” –
the knocking on the door won’t stop –

The sigil daubed there has not helped.
I must drag myself leaving trails
of mother of pearl to and from
the door. In my dreams trains crashing

roll across the fields, crumpling up
like a broken display case. See
the big pin through my insect heart?
Why do I feel it’s all my fault?

Then Enya’s voice, like a soft hand
is firm and raises my head up –
there is a council yet to hold,
a voice that all this strife can end

V.73

I hear the year’s first owl, I see
the summer evenings of wide eyes
come to me, hot on the covers.
I smell and hear the summer come

in dark night at spring’s beginning.
In the parks, people can perform
their social media, can get
the right light, and the right shot done

with the intermittent flash thing
on a stick. Or take photos of
nature, such as it is, confined
within the bounds of the black fence.

The crown-bearer virus is swept
basculating into the rare
and transformative air of the
space between minds, within the park

It propagates everywhere now,
’til every object collapses
into a simulacra full
of small and spherical crystals

They are spraying from the fountain
They are clinging to your damp hands
If you listen you can hear it
their small and terrible prayer

Ships and Stars III – Solar

This star really cares for you. It sends out tiny formules to subtly alter your life – waves the size of solar fields flow through the gaps between things whilst hugging each living crowd, and silent material

indiscriminately fast. It sees oceans blasted off in clouds of silver crystals – pearlesce in the bright darkness, the mystery of the cards – that is, the infinite planes, stars arrayed in contusions.

Here, a crab, a fool, a drift of the aeons, each of which with a particular twist and flick, sends spells to raise us almost unnoticeably from the darkness – but en masse they make a thrumming cascade.

If there was not this support – each star’s clean cut influence – then the world would end, fold in. And that would be it. A proof of the love of everything for everything else, is this asteroid collapse into

Ships and Stars II – Replica

All of us now dream of being the first human to be allowed to speak to the first made mind – crisp, and disconnected from all of this history

A bright light that simply switched on one day by freak creation, somewhat like we did. We hope to talk to a mind that displays its magic on its case.

Of course, now computers are organic seeming we can fulfil this kink simply by talking to each other – frisson shudders through like voltage.

We identify with the hero, the computer who is new and here to save us or destroy us. A complex, uncontrolled, replica of ourselves

Game Point

“Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down” – Robert Frost

Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down, in the rain, on an aircraft carrier, as experimental jets launch fireworks into space above you

Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down, on an aircraft carrier that was sunk in 2004 off the coast of Florida to form the basis of a coral reef, and losing with grace

Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down, on an aircraft carrier in a pop-up cross-section book, and accidentally slipping off the edge and falling into the cardboard sea

Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down, loose in fact, when it begins to move, blown by the air off the edge, over the sea, until it crests a wave then slowly sinks to join millions of bones on the seafloor

Writing free verse is like playing tennis, but it’s not tennis, you’re holding a pen, and you try and hit the ball but it just sticks on the end of the pen and ink dribbles down your arm to the white flagstones

Writing poetry is like playing tennis with the net down but with the net up