Pilgrimage

I walk across the ocean towards Honfleur
on ice that was not here a week ago.
How have we irked the deities to incur
such weather extremes? First jungle heat, now snow.
My chance of seeing Dover again is so low
that I won’t know personally if England is still there
like it used to be. I’d hare off somewhere
secure in the knowledge that I could come back
to the green and pleasant land. Starving seabirds stare
at the frozen surface and the sun turns black.

Pi-Eyed in Nod

She tries to count to seventeen by multiples of Pi:
03.14, 06.28, 09.42, 12.56, 15.70, 18.84.
When she overshoots she starts all over again
till night retreats. The lightening of the sky
illuminates her insomniac chagrin.
The next night, after enjoying a nap of almost an hour,
her synapses snap to attention, flee the land of Nod.
She makes again obeisance to the god
she calls Morpheus and, mortifying maths,
she redefines Pi as a function of
seventeen. This lets her summing shove
its multiples into a tidy nest
that add up evenly and bring her rest …
… until she notes she’s doing couplets missing lines
and sleep slips away. Again! Ah, sleep divine … …

Bird Creek Night-time

From the distance from Earth where it feels safe, the harvest moon
illuminates the orchard where we lie
under separate blankets near the dying fire.
White ashes float and fall in the small breeze.
We are still. We hear the knitting-needle click
of claws upon the flat rocks by the creek.
We hope they’re of racoons and not a bear.

On the Edge of an Epiphany

‘It’s not all that dark,’ says my muse, ‘if you open your eyes.’
She’s right. On this rainy predawn Friday morning
we stand on wet grass watching grey mists rise.
I ask her, ‘Are these daemons in disguise?’
‘If you like,’ she says. ‘You can master your perspective.
You can learn your waking nightmares are elective.’
Your thoughts aren’t you. They’re just your thoughts because
you think them. They merely an effect of.’
I say, ‘Sun, rise up!’ And gloriously it does.

Gunned Down

The murderer uses evil to kill people.
What’s that look like, that thing ‘evil’ – how’s it work?
Is it an idea, or a death ray? Is it a curse?
Oh, I see. You don’t mean evil is a thing
(I wonder whether you mean anything)
but you’ll be damned before you let on that you know
that what the murderer killed with was a gun.

No Squirrels in Here This Morning

’There are squirrels…’ I began. The muse said, ‘Stop with the squirrels.’
I erased what I had written. I said, ‘Now what?’
No answer. The muse whistled. Aeons passed
in review. Real squirrels outside ran up a real tree.
The muse reclined, declining a tray of verbs.
‘Don’t go fancy,’ the muse said. ‘I wasn’t.’ Muse said, ‘Were.’
‘Live in the moment,’ the muse said. ‘Forget fear.
You make yourself sick worrying what might happen.’
‘Don’t,’ I answered. ‘Often,’ said the muse.
‘Write down exactly what it is you feel.’
‘I don’t feel,’ I said. The muse looked at me: ‘Won’t.’
The window on the forest side of the room
blew open, inward. Papers flew and fell.
‘There goes my work’ I said. The muse said, ‘Swell.’