Capitulation

When a story starts up like this one did this morning I have to puzzle it out to see how it ends… and to give it a ‘working’ title.

Capitulation
‘One can pull a rabbit from a hat,’ the jackdaw said.
‘I wish,’ the fox replied.
The encapsulated bunny shivered.
I took its cage inside.

‘I set my cap at Mr. Hare,’
the hungry vixen growled.
The jackdaw said, ‘The man’s at fault.
He took the cage inside.’

The bunny quivered, ‘I’m not here.’
‘Nor hare,’ he quickly added.
The jackdaw said, ‘This caps it all.’
She eyed a cat who prowled

around the end of the last line
and lay down in the weeds.
The mortarboard that adorned its crown
had cutouts for its ears.

‘I think,’ the bird said sharply, ‘that
it’s catnip this cat needs.’
The fox responded, ‘Let me fix that!’
The weedy cat recedes.

We’ve had peak oil and deforestation
and now we’ve pandemonium.
The bunny dons an all-over cap
and transmutes into plutonium.

At Sea in Dreamland

These two squirrels are the size of squirrels. I find that strange.
Shep, my dog, is too big for the door
and I stand half a metre high, if that.
We’re off the windward side of Reason aboard a barge
of a houseboat with a rain-ruined squirrel as lookout
and another at the power-steering helm.
Shep barks and growls. He’s drenched and wants inside.
The tea things tumble from a pitching table.
A houseboat is not yar when it’s not home.
A klaxon awoogas! It’s time to relieve the watch.
Will I be lookout or hang ten on the rudder?
I hear a roaring surf. This won’t end well.

Good Morning

I check the time and see that it is now.
Outside as far as I can see is here.
What I can choose to do comes down to how
I evaluate and act upon this dear

and precious present — what a perfect word.
Here-and-now is all we have in the absurd
cat’s cradle we construct from might-have-beens
that curdle while we conjure larger skeins

of wished-for lies that we fantasise are wool
that, if we weave it well, will give us full
control and meaning for the lives we lead —
or, better, follow — out of some daft need

to imagine our existences are more
than moments to experience and adore.

Timely

She picked up her watch from the table in the dark.
She put it down again.
She could have looked at its luminescent hands. She did not.
Time marched on.
Or maybe it stopped. In the dark who knows?
The evidence is thin
as to whether time exists, she thought,
including especially my own.

Mind Cells

The snails come by us, slow and navigate
their turns, glide up the chair, and slide away
to seek soft shade where they will pause and mate
the way their forebears always have: by rules

their genes dictate, for them a simple task
they need not ponder with their large brain cells.
Compared to us they have few cells to mask
whatever fear or lust or love that dwells

within their minds and shells and silvered drool
that they must admire when trekking in the dew.
Perhaps — who knows? — they think we are the fool
to have such tiny brain cells as we do.

Both species share the same atomic plight:
such empty cells can seldom reflect light.

Society News

He chipped and putted down the pristine fairway.
She climbed the rock face scraping hands and knees.
His money grew more money while he showered.
Her research cured a terrible disease.
His caddy’s Caddy zoomed him to his Bentley.
She mountain biked to the college where she taught
methods for reducing children’s pain.
He bought politicians friendly to his whims.