Disaster ChildI was born on a tidal wave
that why I know how to behave
when the sea earthquakes, and I’m swept
ashore on a tsunami. I’m adept
at surfing what would engulf those
conceived on dry-land. Go with what flows
And so, riding the white horses, I crest
the wave of natural disasters with the best,
waving all before me, I remain free
to test the waters of the displaced sea
when stuck in a blow-hole for a turn of the tide
and I can return taking with me those that died.
My origins I know were due to a volcano
which makes me lava. I go with the flow.
I don’t care a damn about the stars.
Nor they of me. Once being as Mars
in the black hole of ignorance.
I came to earth by a mischance.
There was love in my beginning,
though it was put down to sinning.
Two happy souls embodied me,
and were punished, as I would be:
sprung from the womb, a baby being
snatched from mother’s breast, sight unseen,
an orphan with living parents.
Nothing can ever make amends
for this kidnap: born into a state
of disgrace behind the convent gate.
By denaturing the maternal love,
my nurture was all bottled up,
reared in a cold place by divine
rule, with a birth-cert that’s not mine.
Yet, though blackened by holy rite,
I was just a baby, angel white,
whose star’s a twinkle of an eye
seen in the dark, a grounded sky
my heavens. But, grownup, surprise
gifts from progenitors arise
to show I wasn’t born in vain.
Wedlock was deadlock, put to shame
Where I come from, people who don’t respond
to a friendly greeting, and vanish
over the hill, are sure to find a pond
to fall into where, eaten by a fish,
they languish in the bulrushes until
an indolent boy hooks them. They end up
in the unacknowledged person’s stomach,
to be digested at leisure with a cup
of spring water, and then they’re allowed back
on the road and given a second chance.
Few ever fail to learn their lesson for
the next time it will be in bog-lands
and ten thousand years will pass before
they are found again, perfectly preserved
dying screaming. They’ve got what they deserved.
The black cat has quit the house.
On the lookout for a mouse
my eye catches a black rat.
It turns its sleek back. Eclat!
tail swallowed by the skirtings.
I set a trap. But the springs
snap-shut on me, in a dream:
Nosferatu. Silver screen.
Black and white. A dash of red.
Vampire rats roll over dead.
A plague be on you. Nightmare.
Holes blacken in the Gruyére.
I wake up as a clatter
serves me Baby Jane’s platter.
A black rat that’s cut in half.
The black cat has the last laugh.
Seven and half years
is no time
in this vale of tears
and laughter, yours and mine.
I keep a space for you
in my mind’s eye.
Sometimes it’s a dim view,
sometimes a clear sky,
for when you’re not about
is in doubt.
Nothing to keep my eyes on.
But looking up at night
I hear a sound -
not a meteorite
falling to ground -
but a simple matter
in the scheme of things:
life is just a batter-
ing of wings.