Monday 7 May 2018

I tried to write like you

I tried to write like you.
I never could.
I tried to speak for you
as if I should.

I tried to write like you.
I skipped on things
like rhythm, truth
and suffering.

I peered behind your words
and got a hint.
I peered behind the Word
to spot a glimpse.

I peered behind a page
and felt the shame
for who am I to know
the nakedness by name.

I tried to write like you
and woe is me.
So now I write to you

Wednesday 2 May 2018



I’m in transit at Sharjah airport.

I’m failing to follow a conversation
taking place in Russian.

Air Arabia
throws me onto Kazakhstan in 10 hours.

If I understood Russian
as poorly
as I understand why I run from love,
I would switch from unease about Kazakhstan
to total alarm.

as I collapse
upon the airport’s icy tiles
at 3am,
you are waking to the embrace of a Sunday morning
I can yet recall.

As you rise from your bed, Adelaide,
look over to see me getting into mine
and, if you could,
take a moment to tuck me in.

When I turned to god as a little kid

When I turned to god as a little kid,
I clasped my hands and made a bid
to tell of everything I might
and got it out as quick as light.

But then when mum and dad would ask
down which road my life had passed
and how I felt about tomorrow,
hardly had I chance to sorrow

when out would come advice and order
—worrisome parental fodder.
I sensed they truly loved and cared
but talked too much and weren’t aware

of how the god I prayed to listened.
So modest was this god’s volition;
in fact, it almost seems absurd
but god, I think, said not one word.

And yet I felt so understood;
god was chill and, if I could,
god would let me talk all night
but generally I kept it tight.

Go find a place where you can pray
to those who’ve lately passed away.
The same holds true and to no-end:
they listen more than any friend.

Perhaps, then, it was god who said
that god’s not here, that god is dead;
and whether god is here or not
the therapy is pretty hot.

I was reading the Great Book

I was reading the Great Book
to learn of the Mighty Way.

Out in the park,
outstretched on grass,
I jack-hammered out unreadable conclusions
on blank slates
I’d set down
in my head.

I threw the damn book aside;
pinched the strain between my eyes

and a cat appeared.

Having jumped its yard,
it moved in miniature prowess
to rub against me.

My hand found its hands hammock
on the figurine leopard’s back.

It lifted its arse
and purred.

The animal then saw
the Great Book of the Mighty Way
and down dropped
its arse
on the great thing.

My hand rubbed, the cat purred,
my hand purred,
my heart purred,
the birds and the park and the planet purred

and I finally understood
how to read
the Great Book.