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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Foreign

I’m a construction worker

in the crane-heavy heat.

Loathed, liquored up,

forsaken by God,

indifferent to the sizzling heights

where angels roost.

Ill-paid, cheated on promises

ostracised from the air-conditioned paradise

of others. I wire money home

I swathe my sun-blistered skin

from dust storms.

I am tolerated

hated

excluded

from an oasis of wealth.

I spit on the desert;

it dismisses me,

with a bedouin curtness.

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Dying

Honesty, a fair flower,

grows on your grave.

I find it ironic

how the simple headstone

with simply your name

has weathered

two decades

and grown beautifully

ornamental. Much better

no doubt

than your bones

and your flesh

on which time has performed

its unspeakable acts.

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Dead

Little albino geckos

cluck on the walls

cockroaches rustle their

creepy black wings

the ceiling fan labours

I drip sweatily

with the earpiece

pressed damply

to my head

my aunt booming to me

that mother is dead

the shock

like a seismic event

my stomach ice

in the moist enchanted orient night.

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Faith

So many times

life had mortified you.

But you were elastic.

Having such a sunny disposition.

So when you slit your throat

with a bottle of Scotch malt

we were all surprised.

I guess we never expected

this messy end.

That your party-going smile

could be dimmed forever.

When I found you

congealed in that bloody corner,

the last remnants of a tumbled faith

died in me.

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Masterpiece

She never realised

what a masterpiece

she’d written.

The verbs saluted

with martial proprietary,

the lines scanned majestically

rolling like a deep brown river,

the rhythms sprung,

young hares.

She shoved

her perfect work

in a drawer

with her greasy hairbands,

forgetting what resonance

she’d made.

You found it.

Read. Smiled.

Shivered. Changed.

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Beachcombing

is a special pleasure.

Turning over a shell

with a sandalled toe,

inhaling the acrid stink

of ocean kelp.

I love how the breakers

detonate and chase my toes,

how the sandflies skip

amongst a seagull carcass.

I stoop to gather some

pebble green sea glass

buffed by the surf;

I turn it in my fingers.

It is a prize.

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Thunderstruck

Mother was flabbergasted

at my antics.

I was always

a wayward boy

with fanciful ideas

and no money.

I’d moon along

the canal banks

feeling inspired

and she’d demand

to know

what crazy notion

I was hatching.

We’d spar

and my out-of-it father

would disconnect his ears.

He was so rock-solid

not prone to fantasies

or the big drinking binges

mother would ride.

For me and she,

we were both broken dreamers.

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