Frightful garden,

deriding my febrile city,

dreamily reclining,

harbouring nightmares.

Women stop,

intoxicated by your

lovely bluebells;

out of their morning faces,

reflecting temples,

chimes a steady lunatic


a jack hammer

cracking open the skull

of yet another dog day.

Garden of languid silences,

your sundial’s sharp gnomon

is as precise, as inexorable

as a much used reaper,

cleaving justice.

Cast to one side,

in the raw light of day,

the insects and the worms

and the iniquity of

human history.

Cast to the other side


great indecipherable depths

in which we all find


and even the sun

discovers her silent voice

at last.

Out of the face

of the bluebell,

I sense the sweet hum

of things to come.

Fear of Life

The chill air cracks

all along 

the fissures of our

torrid skin.


under the lamps at dawn,

drawn to them

and to you.

Their  radiance

more utterly alone 

than a north star,

and this city,


out of the crisp night.

I need this

frozen naked morning,

these pained cheeks,

to feel the fevered


deep beneath

the shafts of your palm.

Bridge over a glass river,

shards of the

migrating winter;

how easily we could

fall through

to the floating lights

that have already reached us.

Why do we crave

these perpetual dawns,

frigid to our return

and our steadfast palms?

Knowing futility,

we’ll entwine ourselves,

against this onslaught,

this collapse of


rivers of increasing hoarfrost.

These things,

my dear,

gouge far deeper

into the earth’s despondent


There’s a glow

nestling in our

brittle hands,

and distant barges,

travel ahead of us,

strung with lanterns,

tracing catastrophes.

Under the lamps

footsteps echo

like distress calls

shattering silent canals.

Our bodies,

ablaze to the fear of life,

roar and roar,

melting ice peninsulas.


Sometimes, she’ll be

hard, unrelenting.

I, a glum wayfarer,

on a beach swept

by her wild fevers,

offer phosphor-songs,

bream of contrition.

A sleeted trail clambers

over the sharp headland

of her regard,

which I must scale,

hope abandoned.

Stormy and threatening,


that split the cataract

of my soul,

billow over her

hard eyes of obsidian,

and dizzying brows.

If I reach the summit,

I’ll stroke that fine

dark hair

and serenade the

sleeping lizard in her.

I’ll cup the

ripe, terrible apple

of her sleep.