White

Five white faces
Huddle round a microphone
To solemnly swear in detail
The cerebral causes
Trauma they’ve suffered
Staring at black ink.
Negative outcomes projected
For a city so far away
It might be imaginary.
Computer generated images
Sprinkled with dust
And power kegs
But if the figures are accurate
It might disappear
Under a hailstorm.
They sip coffee, buzzing
Button pressing
Machine learning to stop
Brown faces in dense areas
Atoms so tightly packed
It might be another big bang
Or an earthquake
Seismological market shift
Tectonic tilt
Towards radicalism
But the rain doesn’t halt
The click of a mouse

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White

Compost

Pull the pin
Drop a bombshell
This money comes
Bloody red, hard to sell

“It’s not us”, they say
“We’re manufacturers”
But coke dealers deal
To sniffing contractors

Those ships did sail
To warmer waters
In dusty mountain caves
For the honour of slaughter

Pounds still tick
Through the accountants wrists
A limp, sick feeling
No power in fists

When above, juggernauts
Geologically remove
Any hint of a gradient
Flattened, to excuse

The cutting of heads
In underground caves
But youthful anger is stubborn
It releases in waves

They’ll watch with tied hands
Subsiding the cost
Of the shelling that follows
And the peacetime compost

Compost

Fast Forward

Ever pass time with a forgettable sip
Briefly pressing fast forward
Skipping through the part
Where excitement ebbs
Rather not let the tension build
Through long languishing walks
Lush leaps fully sighted steps
Freshly cut grass deep
Soil, watered in spates
Growing life like baking bread
Rather forgo the messy part
Go straight to the taste
No toil, no emotional wrecks
Flightless birds bouncing back
In only two dimensions of depth
No third chances to reverse
Engineer all those moments
That could have been
Rushing as we are
To reach the dead end

Fast Forward

Steam

You were born
I’m thankful for that
Each time I glance over
The way the muscles
On your face flex
Beaming, like sunlight
Happy, in-between flutters
When a shortness of breath
Can’t keep up with the pace of my heart
It’s good to see your skin
Hasn’t aged a day
I gently fold over each crease
Softly pressing down
Sizzling steam
Pours out
The words nearly came out too
This year
Greetings of health
Wellness, and long life
Caught in a coughing fit
They escaped from my throat
Under my breath
But no matter
There’s always next year
When your face will be clean
Ready to wear
Ironed and steamed

Steam

Books

The books fell through the night, I guess
But even I can tell the difference
Between an accident and theft
They were torn at the edges
Like your nightdress
A chapter spilling out
To reveal an important verb
It has four letters, sometimes seven
It’s the way that it’s told
Not the words themselves
Words never hurt
It’s the tone of your voice

The books fell through the night, I guess
I was soundly counting
The machines that compress
Shepherds to sheep
Sheep herds to meat
The bleating ringing louder
Than my electric dreams

The books fell throughout the night, I guess
Their ghosts came off the page
To throw themselves in protest
At not being read
Arrest them
Like noble champions of a cause
They become the folly of the floor
But the shelves are replenished
With a print waiting to fall

The books fell through the night, I guess
It was an accidental stacking
Procedural caress
I could only love them from afar
Hanging close enough to brood
Each end neatly laid
But seldom will I be soothed
The voice trapped inside
Bumps closer to the edge
But I will not lay and draw warmth
From any of them again

Books

Spin

I get the feeling the ones
Who die young don’t deserve it
The wholesome ones
Loved, by all their fellows
Less lizard, more model citizen
Happy-go-lucky at altitude
Even as they cough
Deep red phlegm
The neighbours
Fight to breach
The edge of the ambulance
To ride in the backseat
Bottle a dying breath.
But us survivors are bitter
Self-indulgently grieving
Brandishing bouquets
Like magicians
Willing mortal punishment
An iron fist to get it over with
If there’s not a good word to say
Then I’ll sneer and disparage
Disgruntled, I’ll be,
Through every wheezing breath
No matter how many times
I hurl myself down the stairs
Some foolish medic
Stops the bleeding
Even when I chunter
They always continue
Before being knocked over
The next afternoon
Heart disease, apparently
Oh, isn’t it sad?
They died so young
Not a crease on fine linen
It all washes off
My holes filled with plaster
Made more of patches
Than the body I grew in
A sorry, wretched thing
Lest anybody speaks
With any positive spin

Spin

Panic

It’s common courtesy
When having a panic attack
To check everyone is fine to deal
With the aftermath
A quick heads up.
Disaster planning.
Alight here for self-destruction
And other harmful activities
It’s not that I’m anxious of
The tiny disruption I cause
It’s the cosmic insignificance
Being smaller than a quark
Still remembering to treat
Others with care
Even if it’s an empty gesture
From deep within the despair
It’s impossible to see
Beyond the empty space
Impulsive need to sabotage
The hapless animal in the cage
Darkness spreads through my pupils
Bleeding into the whites
Eyes that look infected
Vision losing sight
I feel nothing but the fear of death
Dragging me from this brief
Breath above the blackness
The act between two sleeps
Between something and nothing
Before the morphine eases pain
The dream of a hot, white light
Cools to blackness as it fades
For millennia the core spins
Till there’s nothing left
But a timeless return to the void
Space no longer bereft

Panic