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After all

Do this’, ‘Do that’, his dominance: his ‘Submit to me’.

Virginia Woolf

1

Are they after
you? To start with

an axe detains
the rooster’s crow:

night’s clandestine
desire seeps through

sheets floorboards soil
as your hero

loads batteries
in his flashlight.

Two true statements –
each contradicts

the other: yes,
that’s family.

2

Are they after
all? Untangle

language from thought,
ivy from oak.

Say it’s not so:
your end is near

the First Cause, or….
This night sky’s strip

separated
from your garden

by starless air,
by memory

take a deep breath,
a shallow grave.

3

In Babel speak
Esperanto;

with words measure
this widow’s hurt

or that girl’s gash
come Sunday. Come

on Ghengis Smith,
your body’s lost

the demotic
Greek of bronze….

You’re left-handed,
as you write this

you run into
you. Hi, big boy.

April 2000, Dublin Street, Lyttelton

 


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