Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category


The refugee camp. Rice sacks

and flapping tarpaulin.

Overcrowding and diarrhoea.

The heat intensifies

men wake bleary,

vulgar with drink,

they kick the rocky earth.

I think of the beautiful country

they’ve promised me.

I guess it is green

and stoneless and perfect.

Angry men will be calmed there.


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The winds of change blew,

we shivered with the thrill of it.

In assembly halls

around the country

men shook fists

and crushed the old regime

between their fingers.

And I cheered

until I was hoarse

drowned in the collision of voices,

wearing my red corsage

like an emblem of blood.

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When clouds assume fantastic shapes

I wake.

It is instructive

to see them scud

or croon like delicious candy.

They can become lour

and nettled with lightning.

But when they are rimmed with gold

I grow mellow.

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I have a plan.

The pills make me

bilious, the razor blades

won’t hack deep

so I shall stroll among

the marvellous scenery

and fling myself

from a cliff.

Seagulls will sing

a grand requiem for the dead.

The solemn procession of the sea

shall speak my liturgy.

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I have my fetishes.

Not the blackened idols

found in obscure museums

that are terrible to look at.

But a whale tooth amulet

that was my grandfather’s.

I hang it around my throat,

become an arrogant warrior

coasting the breakers

for a time.

Like all good fetishes

I am given power.

I’ll abuse it

and feel bold.

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She had nicked her forearms

with a razor blade,

we felt queasy

that our child

could self-harm,

that she could

starve herself

and say nothing.

The intravenous drip

the shapeless hospital gown

the concerned voices of consultants;

our stargazing daughter

who wouldn’t speak to us.

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You picked at your food

with palpable disgust,

stewing for a fight.

I could never entice you to eat

so I grinned inanely

and that riled you.

So you slung a fork at me

and stomped from the room

slamming a door.

I sat in the shockwaves

scrutinising the back of my hand.

As I heard you rifle

through papers

in the next room

I drank coffee

and mellowed.

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