Toussaint Poem (2012)Apres le deluge, l’autre deluge…
When you smell
the skid of a tyre,
the smoke of a gun,
you know you are finished.
And you can forget
the sea at low tide,
the moment of birth.
O laurel rose
blossom, fleshly pink
as bloomers, blown
to earth by perverse
winds, you deserve better
All that remains
is to smell the end,
a cosmic fart...
No! Lo! the rain has stopped,
and the freshness of the earth
is the fragrance
of skin warming to you.
As the air evaporates,
it leaves a space
in time’s columbarium,
where the chagrins
and joys of life
are not forgotten.
Dead or alive, we live.
On the Feast
Day of St. Lazarus
On the third day Lazarus arose
and sent out a message - I’ve fooled all those
who wanted me out of the way.
Vengeance assuaged, once more he descends
into the living room of his converted tomb
to ruminate on ends and means to start anew,
Still he hasn’t a hope. There’s nothing to do
save give himself rope to hang from a tree.
Martha (not Mary) says Jesus Loves You.
Mary (not Martha) knew the real miracle would be
if Jesus had given him a will to live.
When the blind see they take a dim view.
Stop pecking at my heels. I’m not grain,
or even edible when uncooked.
Cannibals know this. You lack the pure
savagery that’s your heritage.
Flatfoot off or it’s back to your hole.
Why didn’t he seek help?
with an overdose.
Now in the chapel of repose
dressed in his Sunday clothes
he awaits the tomb shelf.
with the close
of the eyes, rows
of bodies that are froze-
n stiff. He isn’t himself.
Just swim with them. But not at dawn or dusk,
or in murky waters. Don’t piss in the sea,
or bleed into it. They may be hungry.
Trashing around with your dog is not wise.
You could be mistaken for a dolphin.
Your fishing spear should be of matted metal.
The flash of a blade would attract the male.
Yellow is a red rag to them. Don’t wear
unless you have a gun. But if attacked
go for the gills not the tail (it’s a knife-edge),
or clobber the snout with a hard object.
Your own skull will do. One in ten survive.
If you mix with their greedy, you grow fat.
If you mix with the honest, it doesn’t rub off.
It’s better to keep yourself to yourself.
I’ve made friends in high places.
I’ve made enemies in high places.
I’ve made compromises with those in high places.
It’s better to go down the drain than up.
He who has my ears and tail won’t have the rest of me.
Those who throw me flowers will have their hands cut off.
The spectator who jumped into the ring was booed and gored.
It’s better to stay outside listening to the crowd baying.
You who know all this and don’t practise it,
and found a way to bribe the judges in the tribune,
remember the brass band that plays to condemn others
can turn on you just as easily. Better to learn an instrument.
Don’t tell me what I know already. It’s a sandpit.
Wisdom is a commodity in short supply. There’s no point
in manufacturing it. Stupid ideas are freely available.
The raw material is love and air. Don’t make me laugh.
In an uncertain world don’t doubt yourself.
Agree with everyone who’s as confused as you.
Keep all secrets till they’re common knowledge.
The bottom line is over the top. Don’t count on it.
In sum, don’t bother to check your facts.
Respect appearances and those in power.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a complete failure
as long as the criteria of success are in your hands.