poems and stories
scroll down to read poems and stories in our
growing weekly from June to October 2019
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The Jungle Rises
There where the croaking
rises from the inchoate
There in the palpable horizon
in globule & rivulet
in the hemorrhagic gush
There in the moldy coalescence
and vaporous ooze
in the nameless viscosities
and horrific bobbings
There in the leaping
and billion undiscovered emetics
and spittled to the heart
There where all are forced
to dwell in their hirsute
where none can vanquish
their greenest genesis
the jungle rises
through spiky palmetto
through everything we cannot hold at bay
has no taste for fish, unless it’s battered, fried,
vinegar-drenched – and spilling, half-eaten,
from an overfull dustbin. He’s never caught
a herring in his life. He settles on streetlamps
as if they were, for all the world, crows’ nests,
and has no notion of the winds that brought
his ancestors here, generations ago. City Gull
was born to the smoke, an urban hatchling,
streetwise and ready-mapped, no need to be taught
the wheres and hows of the complex crisscross
that spreads beneath him. He is all Cockney
birth-right, rough and ready squawks wrought
from a hawker’s gullet. He is king of the tip,
lord of landfill, dines royally on detritus and
shits where he pleases, wasting no thought
on the paintwork of cars. City Gull wonders,
sometimes, at his webbed feet, the splashy clatter
on allotment shed roofs during his clumsy halt.
He does not understand why, when his A-to-Z
synapses know only this city, he wakes from
strange dreams where the air tastes of salt.
Ode to a Giant Waterlily
the moon, you flower
the warm perfumery
of your heart,
offer a nectar banquet
in return for pollen
A petalled jailor,
your guzzling suitors
caged, until next evening
as a magenta dandy
you unlock the soft gates,
then sink yourself
on your second day
to the shadowed depths.
from primordial pools,
your stork leg stalks
and undersides barbed
fiercely as an iron maiden.
Your floating pads,
for Lily Trotters, sunbeds
for caimans. Vast green
salvers on which to serve
a grinning child.
I unzip the door of lianas, step
through, casting off the city;
rain threads tarmac.
Shrive-light braids the canopy and
here seedlings weave welcome.
Green mantles the dusk pool,
is a sprung floor for jiving
mosquitos and water beetles.
come the dark.
The moon sets moth traps
for new velvets,
and the hushed weft
of a deathhead’s wings.