Wednesday, 5 April 2017

National Poetry Writing Month... Day (Part 3)

13. Missed Delivery

While out, a package comes
and goes to number 14,
a neighbour who
I have never interacted with
or even see. And not next door,
left or right, but across the street,
five doors up. I knock.
No answer. The window’s open
and the TV’s on,
but no answer.

Next day, I knock again.
A girl in pyjamas answers
without a word,
hands me a box,
closes upon my thank you.
Returning home, I find
the package already opened.

A book.

I imagine their disappointment,
something throwaway, cheap,
unable to use or resell for themselves.
I make a deposit
to the bank of our bookshelves
and feel richer already.

14. A Clumsy Postponement

My declaration
is that the day does not official begin
until you are showered and dressed.
Only by washing off the night
and donning the respectability of cloth
can you say that you have accepted
the movement of the calendar.

(And even then,
if you haven’t brushed your teeth,
I will allow some leeway.)

So make your mistakes early,
form your misjudgements in bed
and curse into your cornflakes,
for none of it matters yet,
the outside world has not entered in,
and by staggering in your own filth
might you delay the inescapable
until either the postman
          or death

15. Terminal

are recognised as transition points:
every goodbye
means another hello somewhere else


we have travelled through all our points,
crossed all our stations,
exhausted the possibilities
of exploration and voyage.
Clairvoyance says it terminal,
the last flight always one way.

16. We Were Told Ormeau Park Would Be Good For Them

We arrive with peanuts, and perhaps
the squirrels will eat the raisins too,
leaving little edible mountains
along the dirt track, on top of stumps,
in the crook of exposed knotted roots,
anywhere that might allow a pile.
Once done, we pretend to walk away,
looking back every four steps to see
if any of them have took the bait.
A promising rustle divulges
only a bird, and nothing special.
Above us, red flurries have begun,
unseen, until two brave swashbucklers
step out from the wash for inspection.
They scamper around an open stack,
visible to every beast and soul.
Not risking a move for cameras,
dummies against their curious dance,
we freeze our feet, trap our breaths, and wait.

17. Glasswinged

Dream of invisibility?
Fantasise over flight?

Ever search for fireflies
in the Carolina light?

The glasswing butterfly
is an impossible find

set against the rainforest,
their forewings and hind

are as invisible as rain,
as hidden as Hy-Brasil,

an immaculate near-nude,
imago déshabillé.

The Asian dragonfly
and tortoiseshell beetle

show that all insects
and not created equal,

making our epidermides
feel like an oversight.

Dream of invisibility?
Fantasise over flight?

18. Commodities

Everything stops for lunch,
except the person who cannot stop
lest their hunger finds purchase
and cannibalises all hope.

When ninety per cent
of your income goes on food,
who can afford to stop working?
Barclays, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs,

financial investors betting
on food speculation
drives up the prices,
driving unseen souls to the grave.

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