Thursday, 27 December 2007


Heavy moon rising above our sleepless streets
To carriage wheels a-clatter on broken cobblestone,
To shrill foreign laughter
That rattles the rafters
Of abandoned townhalls sitting piously alone.

Tonight's the night when gondolas come sailing
Bedecked in the glitter of faraway shores,
And the hot wine keeps flowing,
Red paper lamps a-glowing,
And the dancers at the rumba are keeping the score.

Sweaty-eyed, they're thronging to the fire-eater's pit,
And the caravan where temporal fortunes are sold,
And the old gipsy witches
Will promise you riches
By orbs that tell secrets in silver and gold.

Footsteps crescendo on echoing streets
As the masquerade passes in unbroken line,
Hangmen and heroes,
And black-hooded Zorros,
Kings, demons, jesters, and angels struck blind.

Under the eye of the ivory moon
The pantomime plays till distant bells chime,
Then encores are taken,
The citadel awakens,
And the dark yawning river bides its time.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

The ant inched rapidly towards my left foot. Skirting around puddles of bathroom water, miniscule flurry of many legs. How unfortunate it is to be an ant, I thought. Lower form of life in the most literal sense. Brain probably the size of a dust particle. Confined to a world no bigger than my white tiled unreasonably clean loo. I had time to waste feeling magnanimous. Decided to put the wretched arthropod (I presume it was an arthropod) out of what I was sure was intense misery. So I directed the hand shower at it and pressed down on the pressy-thing you press when you desire water. I still don't know what it's called, so I've furnished the necessary diagram.

Gush. As simple as that. The ant was now floundering in a pool of water mingled with liquid generosity. That was that. I resumed with my book, got through a few more paragraphs. Funnily enough, didn't recollect a word I read a minute after I'd read it. My eyes dragged themselves to the mini-ocean near my left foot. The ant was still a moving speck in it, legs thrashing furiously, not a peacable corpse as yet. This was troubling. In attempting to relieve the pitiable organism of its awful existence, I had damned it to an even stickier existence. It wasn't my fault, really. I was trying to do the right thing. If only the damn thing wouldn't fuss so and just die.

A harder squirt of water directed at it, point-blank range. But wouldn't you know it, when the mist cleared the accursed creature was still kicking and screaming and refusing to go quietly. I fidgeted a tad bit. How long would this continue? Its fragile body was probably irreparably damaged by now, and yet it refused to leave its base earthly form. Every jerk, every tiny squirm seemed a condemnation. I sat there uncomfortably. Ought I just press my big toe down on it and end this terrible game? Why did I feel like such a criminal? It was just an ant, after all.

I ran before very much longer. Keeping my nose pointed firmly into my book, trying to ignore the stirrings of motion that continued on the periphery of my guilty vision. Someone waiting outside to use the bathroom cast a rolling-eye glance at my towelled self and the door slammed in my face.

I stood outside, water dripping from my hair on to the doormat. Straining my ears for the last bugle call I felt sure was coming. Nothing. No gasp of a martyred soul released from Purgatory. Nothing but the humming of the taps, the hiss of hot water misting up the mirror. And the heavy throbbing inside me that found no release even long after the flood had dried.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

I look at you in the aftermath of smoky blue nights,
When the dancing's been done
And the wineglasses are quiet,
Touching the wet air, cold in my palms,
While you pull your solitude round your shoulders.

I'll look away till you're finished,
Till you say it's alright.

I'll count the glowing embers in the shadow at your feet,
And the cicadas still calling even though day is near,
And all the 'what if's in my fickle memory.
And I'll bet you'd never know I was here.

I'll come back on my own when the lights begin to fade;
You'll sit out the evening in solemn company,
Burning an anguish I never could see
In pools of echoing sympathy
And the early mockers' seranade.

Content with the new riddle you've made,
You'll look up to greet the day drawing near,
And, just my luck, in that triumphant blaze,
You'll never have to guess I was here.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

When a night calypso's singing
And the moon's been busy stringing
A thousand stars out on the Milky Way to dry;
When the dew's begun to settle
And the sky's so stark that it'll
Make you want to laugh out even as you cry,

Let the fiercely stinging madness,
Strong enough to drown the sadness,
Lift you up into the passive heavy blue.
For there you'll be free to wander,
Up there hearts are flung asunder,
And a reckless, joyous ride's waiting for you.

Back to misty golden mornings,
Our old fantasises a-dawning,
And the sweeping tides come rushing to your feet
Carrying ghosts of long-gone laughter,
And the tales of ever after,
And a finished canvas painted bittersweet.