Pueblo house

Pueblo house
Here
Pueblo house
Cherished
By small birds
Who visit the laurel hedge
Or the tall birch trees
That they
Love excitedly
With eyes and wings
And bird songs
Pueblo house
I would rename you
Pueblo house
If I could
To humanise you
To take you off the grid
Of municipal rules and squares
That have counted
The doors and the windows
That charge for bedrooms
Does it matter
How many bedrooms
In the flat?
People here
Do not want to live by numbers
Do not want to live
In categories
In ordinances and censuses
They come and go
Stay still or change
I have been made to believe
In corners of stone
And brick walls
In tiled rooves and square pavement stones
Yet I look for neighbours in the windows
I listen for pigeons
But here now
There are people
In pueblo house
Who love and hate
Fight one another
Make peace
Form allegiances
Make lasting relationships
In the courtyard
They work
On their cars
Like secondary beings
Like pets that are
Part of their families
They move shadowy
Through the gates
Into the mainstream of life
They thump the wall
When they are angry
With pueblo house
They stamp on the floor
Above their neighbours
In retributions
They slam doors
When their peace
Has been threatened
They gather in random groups
Like strange adults
Quizzical
With no cohesion
They whistle or sing
Like territorial blackbirds
Or loudly clear their throats
For who knows what reason
But pueblo house
Covers them over
Pueblo house
Tucks them into bed
Sings to them
In the silence
With another kind of silence
Unrealised
Unspoken
Communal
Enclosed
Closed in
Struggling
Against the orders
From the outside
From the government
As the postman
Comes in and out
Not smiling
Not smiling
At the smiles
He does not find
In pueblo house
In a pueblo house
One person’s sadness
Is everyone’s sadness
One person’s happiness
Is everyone’s happiness
Don’t let the world
Carve you up
Like new toffee
On a tray
And let you go cold
I hate the name
Birchfield
It invokes
School beatings
Thorny surreal paintings
Strengthened by building rules
For enclosed spaces
For detainments
For disciplines
I could live in a place
Like pueblo house
In a pool of humanity
In a multilingual
Multicultural
Epiglottal
Of doors on stairs
Of sounds and silences
That you would expect
In a pueblo
In a pueblo house

Woman of the pueblo

Pueblo: humanises a place as a state of being,
as a set of values and allegiances

Easter

She’s worn her clothes so long
And now they are worn out
The city is tired out
The streets are worn out

She wears the same clothes
She washes them and then she wears them
Like the moth is worn out by flying
Like the bird is worn out by preening

The full moonlight glow brightly
Crisply defined in the pool of blackness
But the clothes that she has worn for so long
Are now worn out

It is not by the laws of the seasons
It is not by the capacities of wardrobes
It is the absence of distant planet
It is the wearing away of coastlines

It is the gap between full moons
It is the length of endless tunnels

The rules of the skin
Are thermometers, are barometers
Science became involved
When skin asked for a king

The rules of the skin
Are eyes, are pictures
The movies became involved
When kin wore clothing

The planets turn nakedly in their orbits
With barely an atmosphere
Skin moves thinly
And makes the whole body cold

While animals sleep on the frosty ground
And the moon relishes her cold mirror
Skin demands gold fabric and pearl buttons
To cover her broken machinery

The bird of justice
Is as hard as stone
Criminals are warming
Like spiders from their eggs

They cover the bird of justice like tar
She runs through the woods
She is captured by a sea captain

He puts her in a cage in his cabin
Where she instantly dies of shock

The bird of justice cannot move her wings
Her eyes cannot see a living soul
An evil spirit put a spell on her
And now her justice is cold

Looking behind me
I see affirmations like columns of stone
In those stone columns is trapped
The water of love

Who could be so cold as to seal it in?
Who could be so hot as to dry it up?

That their affirmations are rare
Are vultures of jealousy

If humanity has a sea level
It is a thin cover of water over the sand
It does not make things grow
In the heart

It affirms the rocks and stones
But it leaves but so many of its children

In our Easter disguises
Are thatched roofs
Lifted by the wind
The masks of children
Are left on the streets

In our Easter disguises
We follow the seasons of wheat
And give up eternity
Of the human heart

The fertility of the land
Comes once a year
We give birth to babies
Continuously

under our Easter disguises
our faces fade away
our breath begins to smell foul
our sense begin to ruin us

do you make winter fuel expensive
does wealth dwindle in inter?

Do we crawl into summer like abandoned pets?
Do we need fattening up?

Can you keep the storehouse full
Yet make fire worth a fortune

Can you clothe the king in gold braid?
While we sit by an empty fire grate

To those who make fire for money
Will fire come to you freely?

I slept in a classroom
Made of people
The walls were made of people
The desks were their desks

I moved around
From one group to another
People were all I cared about
People were all I cared for

Then someone invited me to the door
And I looked out to see
With astonishment
The glowing cloud
The mushroom cloud
Of a distant explosion

We are not afraid
To nuke them said our leader
We will defend our interests

Arctic people

they spoke slowly like dolphins
slowly like volcanic eruptions
of how their ocean is growing taller
of how their home was decreasing

and then you were shown
the giant incisors of the ocean waves
cutting like beavers through thick trees
cutting through the cliffs that crumbled like cake

they spoke slowly like stars glowing in the night
they are the children of the ancient footpaths
their huts are filled with the dark waves
their eyes grow out of the ground like tall rhododendrons

then you were shown the plan of their village
you were told how they were captives there
among the oil drums and the heaps of rubbish bags
and you were reminded of how they used to be free

run away, sleep with the polar bears in the ice caves
and stay there until all this goes away

the ocean is upside down
it’s head is a great deep monster
growling in the deep ocean trough
and with his many tiny toes
he runs beneath the sky

the ocean is an upside down giant
his head is stuck in the ocean depths
and on a million legs of wind
he hangs from the sky

the deeper you go down to his pillows of rest
the more you tremble
his voice is the sound of a deep sea whale
his mouth can swallow a fallen star


Newtok, A New Beginning
BY KATIE ORLINSKY
The Yupik village of Newtok in western Alaska, population 380, is sinking as the permafrost beneath it thaws. Erosion has already wiped out nearly a mile of Newtok’s land, and it is estimated that in three to five years it could be underwater. The entire village is in the process of moving to Mertarvik, a new village site about nine miles away. Newtok is the first community in Alaska that has already begun relocation as a result of climate change—pioneering a process that many other Alaskan villages may soon undergo.

Time flows like a river for us

Time flows like a river for us
A river that ends with the choice of eternity or death
Time grow like the sap in the early spring flowers
Time has to jump from one species to another to continue

Along the shore walk the swordsmen
Cutting down anything they come across
Sinking any boat moored in the reeds
Throwing the fishermen into the river

At the rapids they gather like bears
Like winging bears they seem to fly
Mixing the blood of their victims with the white foam
Piling up the dead on the down river shore

If all of life was dead time would cease
Death is the enemy of time and of life

The feathers of the robber bird

Like the feathers of the robber bird
All of humanity has grown

Are you the feather that falls out
Briefly enjoy being blown by the wind

Floating through the sky you begin to see
Everything the robber bird cannot steal

You settle safely on the ground somewhere
You begin to love without fear

The robber bird I passing overhead
He take you to feather his nest

All of life is hard
Even religion grind me down

What is this life I envision
Like the sunlight on the sea

Am I close to that life
Where am i?

Why does the sky close down
Like a lid on a box?

Will I lose my body?
If I try to climb out

Will I dissipate in the air

The knife of death
Prizes me open like a hell

Where is the war against such a thing
Hat is the victory?

In the great hall, there is singing going on
I walk across the field to see
I look through the great church window
At a congregation of blind children

The singing come from the collection box
The beautiful song come from the collection
The priest has no mouth and he stands there
Waiting for the meeting to finish

Money for food, blindness for love
Lured in by the music I become like a blind child

Like the slave buried with the pharaoh

Like the slave buried with the pharaoh
His servants seal up the tomb
He reacts with extreme cries
He breaks the pharaoh’s chariot to pieces
He lives on the bread and meat of the afterlife
For days in the darkness he survives
And then a pinpoint of light from a great star
Shines into the tomb and he laughs like a madman
With the pharaohs dagger he makes handholds
He makes handholds in the wall and begins to climb
He climbs and slips and climbs again
He climbs towards the star that shines the way
And now he sits on the top of the pyramid
And he looks around at the light in the villages
And he sees the light of his own home

A kiss from me

A kiss from me has become a garland of rain
A handful of dried autumn leaves

I could never betray you with a kiss
My kiss is a burning feather in the wind

The Lord looks down with a sad heart
What kind of kiss is this that no one can feel?

What kind of kiss is this – a crisp, a dried page
But written on the page, written on the page . . .

My gut feels as though it’s bursting

My gut feels as though it’s bursting
Trying to burst out are thousands of birds
Thousands of squashed birds are inside me
Trying to force their way out
My belly will burst open
The birds will explode into the sky
Bloodstained red birds
Birds dripping in blood
Will swarm into the sky
They will form flocks of birds in the sky
And before they all fly away
It will rain blood

You have been in the dungeon of death

You have been in the dungeon of death for a long time
Suddenly you are brought up to the ground
There is a carnival going on, a gala
Thousands of people are eating and drinking
Musicians are playing and acrobats are tumbling
Here he is they say, here is the next one
The next one for what? The next one for judgement
Then a group of prisoners all chained together
Amble into view and each one gives testimony
To what you lied about, to what you stole
Then a sound like thunder ransacks the earth