We dance the Green Chihuahua. Walls fall down.
‘It’s like Jericho,’ you whisper. Irish snakes
scamper. Can you believe that? Badgers frown.
Singing ‘hi-de-ho’ the god of cupcakes bakes
meringues in a marimba he’s converted
into an oven best for pizzas. Icing runs
out as letters spelling lyrics the god blurted
while we danced the Mambo with a squad of nuns.
‘Enough!’ you shout and shouting makes it so.
The snakes and nuns and badgers exit right.
They do the Mashed Potato as they go.
We applaud and douse the lights. A splendid night.
They danced the Light Fantastick, they: hoi polloi and the stars.
You and I danced the Green Chihuahua way employing bumper cars.
This made sense in several senses a smidgen of which were sane.
We were intensely mending fences when the pigeon witch exclaimed
That the dragons were arriving with their tempers set on Burn.
We dosado’d and halfway through while we were back to back
The loup garou came bulling through and blew the dragons stack
To whence they came if that’s a word. It’s not heard often since
The pigeon witch proscribed odd words. The texts grew awfully dense
But we escaped by dancing on and then by dancing off
To great applause from one small dog and cries of Mazel Tov.
I am not at large. This morning I’m at small.
I stay inside, as inside as can be,
and I sing from songs the words I can recall.
Since I’m inside I sing them silently
but the jackdaws lipread and one takes offence
at lyrics he imagines aimed at him.
He tells a heron who becomes incensed
so much she tells the seagulls, asking them
to foul my sundeck next time they fly by.
I bribe the gulls with ginger snaps and gin.
I remind them jackdaws never are their friends.
Machiavelli’s Prince has taught me how to win
but my victory’s static, Pyrrhic. All take wing
but me. I’m grounded, and can’t even sing.
I play with memes I cannot understand
the same way I watch jackdaws fly: amazed.
A small idea grows quickly out of hand.
Reality’s all right when it is phased
but this morning I’m afflicted with entire
and edifying concepts I can’t grasp.
Whole universes soldered on a wire
of probabilities fall off voids and clasp
unto each other. Objects, each at rest,
have no precise locations I can find.
And though I’m sure I can, I am hard pressed
to prove, because it is false, that I’ve defined
‘at rest’ correctly. The memes have moved away,
as have the jackdaws. Go outside, then. Play.
‘I am looking at God,’ said the squirrel, ‘and at the Profligate Panda.’
The jackdaw and I enquired did the rodent feel well.
‘As well,’ he replied, ‘as the golden-egg goose of Uganda.
‘As well,’ he went on, ‘as the soil-cleansing thistles that dwell
on slights they infer from the tales that parishioners tell.’
‘This is serious,’ I said. The jackdaw agreed and surmised
that the squirrel had been maddened from being too often surprised
by random events till his brain had been seized by the odd
erroneous idea that the phenomena of nature disguised
personal messages to him from the Panda, or maybe from God.
My mind is by definition what I know.
Or is it? Do by ‘mind’ I mean my world?
Two selves, both mine, are not disposed to go
through one door. They did once. A flag unfurled
and ushers of a potentate or prince
rushed me along a corridor to meet
my fate. Or someone’s. New found evidence
suggests that the deaths recorded were too neat
an explanation for the dying fall
of joy. Where was I? Hopefully, not there.
In fact I was. I had to watch it all.
Or was that fiction, when the raging bear
tore me, both of me, into what you see:
a mind encumbered by reality?
The demolition of the old house, less sad today
as it progresses so far we do not recognise
the home it was, reminds you, you say, of how old people
get by the years deprived of what they were
until when they eventually depart
what dies with them is not enough to grieve.
‘You are young,’ I answer. ‘You are fixated on the world
of appearances that young eyes find important.
A pimple or a wrinkly weathered skin
is what you see and think that’s all of life.
The spiritual, if ever, arrives late.
All souls take time to learn to meditate
and, unconcerned with ego, to align
themselves with the notes enriching Nature’s tunes.’
We sat out the last hanging. We’d gone inside
for a glass of bubbly something and a snack.
Once you’ve seen so many gallows birds swing wide
it’s a given probably that one more will lack
the drama justifying standing up
and paying attention. And yet this plump hors d’oeuvre
provokes in me a sense of throwing up
my hands. You’d think our sous chef could manoeuvre
some better grub for all the cash we’re paying.
‘Here’s to us,’ I toast, ‘and to rolling in new money!’
The majordomo strides up. He is saying
(while you and the others look at me all funny)
as he presents me with a hemp noose and an urn,
‘Hurry! Hangman’s waiting! It’s your turn!’