for being so unruly
if it won’t be quiet in the middle of the night
that a rule is a rule is a rule
when it doesn’t fit
for being so plain to look at
a home among the better forms
as ‘the rotten apple that spoil it for the rest of us’
into an appropriate and functional model
so it knows where it belongs
as something ‘extraordinary’ and ‘new’
at a suitable profit
until the market has been saturated
if you really want it dead
We buried gravity and took flight.
There was no need for constellations,
we just travelled for travel’s sake,
wandering on a drift of air
until we dropped altitude.
she pulls them through her breasts
and then down again, into a brilliant tail
Few creatures metamorphose sleeker.
Certain birds, with their deceptive fluffy trim,
become black slashes in the sky,
all swooping speed.
From the idea of themselves into themselves even fewer.
we were gold and brittle
dead birds in the nests overhead
we were churches underwater
horses buried with ancient kings
we walked sideways for Jesus
and didn’t say a thing—
no-one saw the world quite right
except we chosen few
I’m a simple mosaic
but not simple
a patchwork of borrow and steal
I would give my heart
if it were mine to give
if you asked it of me
The magi descend out of the clouds,
The orderly receives the casket.
What is in the box so carefully wrapped?
The heart of a little boy
to keep a little girl alive.
A cross for an ID
To carry all her days,
when she twists the ring on her finger,
He is here
Whispering in her heart -
“It’s not fair
that you manipulate me thus.”
But the gift has been
And the magi go.
FOR MARIT LINDBERG
Jan-Litt worked as a charcoal-burner
(“Litt” because he was a little man).
He was used to boredom: he watched coal for a living,
was the enemy of every kind of fire,
lived in a wood hutch staked out by an infinity of Swedish trees.
Numb with tedium, he had taken time out
for nineteenth-century day-dreams,
for a swig of corn-brandy.
Like a fantasy, out of green forest haze,
the wood nymph slid, dressed
in the body of a woman wearing “fine long hair”,
chill eyes wide with another species’ feeling.
Jan-Litt offered her the bottle —
was he stunned into hospitality
or did he rise in the presence of this stark, naked creature
Magnificent, men are now fully engineered.
Even their bio-rhythms are geared with precision
to the false velocities, the aggression of the machine—
like mimics, they enact mannerisms
of the mechanical.
Out there they speak another language
No pleasantries or modifiers
The language of imperatives
No ifs and buts
and thank- you’s
Redundant in the cyberspace vocabulary.
The little mouse does their dirty business