After  W.B.Y & D.T. with love


Cicero knows a soul is there or isn’t there

And neither bandage unbreaks the fear;

My cat’s coalfired sleeping in a fiery pool

Put out in purrs sleep derails, his fur

The kingdom of panthers all breeders confer

Ribbons on; in heaven the dead move too –

In puzzled sleep, at their side some owner

Scribbling also of the worried times: half

The world is half apart from half the world’s

Other part – the solid heart has come to know

The dialogue of self, and loss, and selfless loss;

As Plato told, and Aristotle tossed aside, in scorn.

We’re divisions of an army made up of us

Alone; the hill-town’s been cut off from its face,

To save the sloping nose to keep the mills alight.

Economies of scale collapse


like climbing bibles

Tipping off a feeding beltway to appal the stars.

It is dust bowling as dollars fly like mice

Out of the cat hospitals to die church poor

In single pairs of lost mittens, disallowed to mourn

Until morning’s dark and the mountains flat as ice.

We split hairs like Moses, slit the camel to accommodate

The eye – our needles are threaded by Threadneedle,

So more of less, and less of more, can safely die –

As if death was money, words blunt tools, and life a lathe.

The brave are folding up their safety pins to save

Mere dying ones who turn on a causing cough;

Bosses dine on podium broadcasts like birds join bread

On lakes; numerical troughs are gouged in hills that rise,

Decrease, decease – slumping’s made us all apocryphal

As Pythagoras’ tall tales figured by figmented beads –

The world’s a model standing




on an angel’s tip-toes.

We’re in the counting throes of death too numerous to have

Numbering; we stop at ones and zeroes to defy binary

Needs or broad naming of particular, infinite complexities;

The singular taxes the treasury, the task force grapples

Like a misfit crampon, loose as lynchpins in bald flight.

Cry, Zion, for the solitary mister and miss in a middle,

Muddled in separation on a kinging quiet street, missing fools.

Half the world’s a blasted safecracker bent to his thunder

At a blowing carnival when the banking jig is pinwheeled.

Clap for carers who care less for their own primal skins

Than ours, be insane on Thursdays out of doors, mayhemming

Lest the gowned fabric of our society frays, baying

At an endless moon of boring concentrated fear,

Frowns into nothing from everything despaired.

O, Jupiter, alter our banal corpuscles, test us shaking,

A tree torn from leaf


or wind to be clarified;

We’re poised like ancient gigolos to do little,

Or suddenly spring loaded into action’s cage –

Diving from a deadly platform to a waiting room;

From puddle to emergency, to struggling depths;

As Cicero promised you, Death that courses

Has no cursing channels past the sensual body;

Pain is livid or not much to discern – the dead

Oblivious to oblivion, in the final sea see nothing,

Flowing out of health up to heaven’s numbing,

Lethe’s leading waters to the drowsy gentleness

Of being born before Genesis struck nails –

As if storks raced backwards to beat a clocking sun,

Solar scatter – all God’s apple seeds sewn across

London’s grown eyelids of

a blind starveling Raven.


APRIL 18, 2020, LONDON



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