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(700 BC & 1933 AD)

tub-thumped these clouds
grey-framed skylights
gathering sky

corralled on coral
this ship’s figure-head
mouth open to speak
a foghorn
her bare breasted
Scylla & Charybdis
lighthouse lights

goat-legged beach-comber
wandering a lug-worm beach
avoid those places
where the sea-weed

water the father
earth the mother
false union
engendering an egg
waves breaking
their broken marriage

cyclical the sickle
ticking rocks to sand
time personified

Stones (3 May 1808)

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(3 May 1808 AD)

stones once thrown
can never be brought back
nor words once spoken
nor the bullet
once released
from musket or gun

here lies who knows who
face down in the dust
shirt soaked in blood
body pierced with lead

nor water time nor love
can ever flow back
beneath that bridge

some kneel some pray
some raise their eyes
to uncaring skies
every one of them dies
those waiting to be shot

even the soldiers
reloading their guns
never understand
how time’s tide runs
ebbs and then flows
until everyone goes

this you
lying face down
on cobble stones
well know



The poem is drawn in part from the Goya painting of the shootings, El tres de mayo de 1808. The painting above is a close-up of Geoff Slater’s latest mural, still in progress, at Macadam Railway Station in New Brunswick. “If only the stones could speak, what stories they would tell.” This re-post was inspired by a visit to Seasons of the Witch on  Mr. Cake’s Cake or Death site with its images of Goya’s Black Paintings. So, we have a continuing Goya mini-Fest, May the Second and May the third.

Don’t tell me your troubles

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Don’t tell me your troubles

vultures circle overhead
tight-beaked grimacing
ready for any old thing
to drop down and die
leaving them some space
they bounce on the wind
feather-tips poised to plunge

drivers drive dodgem cars
through pot-holed filled
parking lots
bumper to bumper grinding
following each pedestrian
plodding from hospital to car

red alert three bell alarm
an engine starts
reversing lights flicker
someone’s coming out

cock fights dog fights
domestic pussy cats
all booted and spurred
claws out for the bust up
three dust ups already

nobody happy
everyone hopping mad
round and round
circling false alarms
sitting waiting
for someone to move

we’ll all be late
for our appointments
no room at this inn
not here not today
my friends no parking

That Wall

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That Wall
(1953 AD)

build that wall
top it with wet cement
place bottles in a row
sign it date it
carve the barrier in stone

when the cement sets
break those bottles
impenetrable barriers

walled now this garden
its interior holy of holies
a paradise for the chosen few
peace and roses only a dream
glimpsed from the outside

a climber climbs
rips flesh shreds clothes
mottles concrete with blood
wet washing hung in fleshy strips
a red flag now this Siegfried line
its shattered glass wire
its see-through brittle anger
excluding all intruders

walled this garden studio
this monument
built by my father
seeking to block who out
trying to lock who and what in


(1944 AD)

a deep moist cave
moss-grown cavernous
casting from night to day

synchronous memories
ascent descent blood scent
ejection rejection

tumbling down falling
insidious angel
no room at the inn
trapped no escape

Hieronymus Bosch
black-winged devils
cloud tormented
anonymous red skies

factory and furnace
foundering foundries
mysterious birth myth
turned into lies

virgin berth
borne with tweezers
untouched the channel
from dark to light

Aye, aye


Aye, aye
(8 April 2019)

I am my eye
this eye
my left eye

rapid heartbeat
shallow breathing
tautness in chest
this is all about
my eye

frozen with gel
bathed in iodine
it nestles in a nest
loitering with intent
within a blue tent
filled with oxygen

three bright lights
surgeon’s fingers
surgical instruments
moving shapes
this eye my eye
sees them draw near
then fade away

machines hum
laser beams bite
extract then implant
more liquids
face patted dry
dark glasses appear
smiles all around

“Oh my eye
Betty Martin!”

this eye
is not an eye
because you see it
it’s an eye
because it
once more sees you

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Dark Night



Dark Night
(1577-1579 AD)

stole the moon’s halo
moth sputtering to its death
this owl high-flying

a cat tears out
mouthfuls of hair
spits out a hairball
steal it for a nest

dish and spoon
cats and dogs
rain golden
milky the way
thirst is quenched

blind hands
deaf fingers
no longer deft
voices breaking
an unstrung
guitar of sound

fire will one day
come to claim us all