It was a yellow-spotted frog
Skin bedecked in splashes of black
In the middle of the road
It’s guts spilled out.
Boys played at their game
shouting, sulking, rejoicing on the road
A pigeon’s wing, torn, lay toward the side.
It matters not how one lives
Each soul is a temporary blemish
whether unnoticeable or remarkable
upon the face of the earth.
The crow, its neck bent
A rat, a clump of nuts by its side
Crushed, its long tail laid out behind it
Heading to its nest, probably
The Universe doesn’t notice.
I clutch a book-binder’s scissors in my palm
I think of Mo
I feel the leather, to put upon the spine
Leaning in, burying my nose between the pages
I don’t know what comes next
After the dressing of the spine in the leather
Because I’m not a book-binder
Though Mo once was. Still is.
I’m a reader, dreaming about my bookshop.
Transported by a photo, a mark, a song
to that day, that time years ago
When you laughed along
intricate and oblong.
a life stolen
an infant’s, a boy’s, or a parent’s
Time stands still
You endeavour to understand
Why, how, what could have been
Belongings locked away,
Names made taboo
Aspirations half conceived – the womb snatched away
Empty sentences left hanging in the air.
The world moves on; it cares not
For the gaping hole is visible only to you,
The interrupted fire tangible only to you –
A candescent forever agleam behind your eyelids.
They have lied, deceived, stolen, coveted
Avarice and amour propre bleed into them
Their souls are fragmented seas
A number out of seven sins drift across them.
We looked at them and judged
Expert fabrication might have been what we saw.
A whiff of innocence, a child’s gift
A breath of fresh air, an open book
A friend’s trust, a fragile concern
A smile of encouragement, a proud look
Turn their eyes inwards, or maybe not
But they might will the shards to stitch together
They could try and keep hold
But the make-believe needle, the traitorous threads
They give way at the first jolt.
I danced my harsh dance,
sucked on raw meat
A black cannibal at the summer fair
I clutched my hat full of pennies.
I care nothing for the gallows, nothing for the law
Vengeance, nursed by every passing hour
Cutting through men, like stalks of wheat
Not a shred of mercy, my conscience to be paid no heed.
Led behind bars
My bloody soul dripping
I sleep, drifting away from the laughter
Liberated at last.
The sun shines across her lips
a mystery unsolved
The stars twinkle, caged in her eyes
a light coming through, from miles away
Rainbows squabble in the lilt of her laugh
A sound bound to welcome you home
She holds an ocean, laughing in her palms
An eternal elixir of life and beauty
Aged and wrinkled,
She gazes at the sky
Her heart in tandem with the wind’s sighs
Her son’s laughter echoing in her ears,
She smiles up at the rain, a flame in her eyes
She watches him walk into the frolicking moonlight,
Twilight rushing after his fading form
His smile, more spirited than ever,
Encompasses her in its untouched paragon.
She takes him in, fingers reaching out
grazing his brow, to caress him once again.
The memory of his love glistening in her eyes
she turns away from the window,
More beatific than ever.