Allow it, allow it!

Allow it, allow it;
You would never allow it
Your face speaks of boundary walls
Your eyes have changed into visibility suits

It was you against the tanks
It was you against the bombers

Like the grass that has to heal itself
Before it allows the snails back in

What was I thinking of
I was thinking of the bowl of watery tears
That I hold with my inner arms
I was thinking of emptying it
Over your head

There is another phenomenon of disguise

There is another phenomenon of disguise
You said
Wear this so we don’t know how you are

Ith my face remodelled
I could be anyone except
I wouldn’t know who I am

A sure as a shadow is a shadow;
As a shadow doesn’t see another shadow

When shadows talk together
One says to the other
This is useless you are just a shadow

Yet, I tuck to the bottom of the skip
Like chewing gum
watching the world end

I’ve felt that love is wrong

I’ve felt that love is wrong
I’ve felt that the stepping stones
Went into a whirlpool of drowned dead men
I’ve felt that death blamed me for its broken teeth

I’ve felt that tree never had blossom
And that streams never had fish
I’ve felt that the only star in the sky
Over the populous city really was alone

I don’t know if I’ve ever done anything

I don’t know if I’ve ever done anything
If, when I looked at the sea, it gave birth to red cherubs
Flying into the sky and entering the sun

If the iron gates of your soul
Became like a summer dress
On a designers studio table
Asking for restaurant takeaways
And filling in desk diaries

If I ever forced a change in the game
Where turnstile bowed to me like coachmen
And raised their hat and took my ladies bags
To the swimming pool surrounded by trees
With the singing of birds of paradise

Too quickly, I have to end it
As if hanging men were watching accusingly
The origami structure of love
That are too fragile to be allowed to be real

“L” shaped you

Underneath
Underneath that other you
Underneath
Underneath another you

Triangle you
Percussion you
Inca you
Maya you

Your soul

That he dissa-
Pears into you
Inca you
Maya you

On you
The “L” shape
Of the other you
Where you disappear

L shaped you
L shaped you

Close up things

Sometimes I feel I’m on a rope ladder that I have climbed up too high or climbed down too low
That I’m carrying a bird in a pocket of my mind and that I nearly drop it into a piece of a dream
Stretched like skin between the rocks of a cave
That all my childhood days were empty like abandoned coal trucks linked together
That I wake up in one each day without an existence
My eyes would play with the close up things that my eye could reach
Close up things were like a family
This was my family before I learned to cry

I cried it all out
Alone or in anger alone
Yet some of it was stuck down deep
Like coal in a deep mine
So I drank it out
I drank until only my bones were left of me
I drank until I was quite sure
That no one was there

If I can, why can’t I?

If I can, why can’t I?
Imagine mountain ranges far away
a seashell garden
a wide window of smiling glass
and my soul sitting there
musing over some happy event

I hear
A dustbin lid clanging
Someone telling someone lese
What to do
Amongst the hotchpotch building
Of clashing brick and glass
Executive and homeless
Un-embracing and arrogant
Class system, pecking order
Of a flightless chicken coup
Of London’s Ginny life

Celebrities fly in
we love London they say
smiling for the camera
Oh it’ fine if you can afford it
Mutter the pigeon waiting for spring to begin

If you can’t afford it
You are squeezed into the paste tube
Of backyard life

You get told what to do
You get to make the dustbins sing


The only thing that’s happy
Is the dustbin
It gets
All it wants to eat
Everyday
It is emptied once or twice a week
By slaves in dumpsters
Who never speak
And sometimes it even get a special treat
Of unwanted food
In plastic raps
Old ironing boards
Old pipes for gas
Oh, it’s great, great, great
To be a dustbin

where is my community?
It used to be like an ocean
Where I my community?
It used to be like the sky

Then some man in a pin-striped suit
Got snipping at it with his Ryman scissors
The land, the whole land was soon
Cut to pieces, is it going to burn?

Breaking up a community like this
Was what the Assyrian did to their conquests
Here it done by team-leader
Here it’s done by estate agents

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