It is believed in the town that the sun directs its light into the well
staining pearly radiance at the curvature where she aims the spittle

He mapped the channel of the dribbling  silver by holding her body
blue grey like the spent rivulet draining into the dry mouth of delta

A green snake taken in the mouth stirs under the tongue of moon
the cobra ascends from her groin fans out hood of desire in her breast

When pain colors like oleander she knows the blood flows in reverse
from the tip of the finger to the dying throat of the flower rasping for breath

The last time I saw him he was saluting the sun, his head a hive of memories
he did not know she was crouched over the fire as a last act of supplication

One hand on the slab of shoulder, the other cupped over her ear he called
into the empty house, primeval cry razed down the structures of language



The dead crowd my legs
those who leave us late can never forget
they wander and find way between the lids of eyes
to spill into our dream

Maybe I did not till the garden with fervor
turn the soil under the light of stars, to see
if the seed splayed open in the breath of dawn, if end
of you is the beginning of me

I drape time on you as if it is enough
not to grasp the silk slip away through the space where
silence pools in your curled fingers that trace
the horizon as a jagged line

A river ran here fifty years ago, a wasteland now
the roots of trailers hear the rustle of water
that like ghosts let breeze blow through hollow shell
to grasp life that has no matter

The bird hollows out the sky ball sized, slices a path
taut like the birth canal – the only passage with no return
which then loosens in the vast breast of blue
under the gland that nurtures eternity


In the spiral
that leads to the sky
he searches for a path.

To climb he has to let go
the foot hold,
step in


pale belly of sky,

kick the foot wear.
The clasp


Poem A Day

places of love: a raft torn by wind

I could jump off a cliff
I hold the fluttering heart in my hands
I hold you as the birds fly over
this is not in my lifetime

With the heart in my hands fluttering
I tow you to the other side of the river
when this is not the lifetime for you
I return on a raft torn by the winds

You watch from the other side of the river
the birds that I hold fly over
the raft torn by gusts of wind
I jump off the cliff.


places of love: roof of the mouth

The way tongue went up to the roof of the mouth
holding the breath for a second, unraveling the silence

that sat in the centre of my existence
when you said yes

and let light flood into a dark cave. Your image frozen
in layers of minerals I hacked crudely,

colors of dust settled
on my skin, on the crevices of my toes, in chapped lips.

The furrows filled crimson, colour of my blood, taste of salt
in your mouth as you explored the depths where

pooled in stillness, rippled with life at your touch.

Day 1
Write a poem a day,  NaPoWriMo 2013


left behind

The sentence leans away from the centre, from its punctured sides
colors bleed carrying the suns and moons, the fire that keeps
home in every corner of the body.

Distended the word stands, failing to gather color before sunset;
the long evening carries dust under the bed where a bead
lies kicked from memory.

I loop letters backwards, right to left, hold the message to the mirror
for you to read. Silence sits on the curve that meaning takes;
you halt me there, I sit out a lifetime.

Like a long rope of memory a train snakes through the landscape,
the flash of carriages are gone leaving a square panel of ache in my heart
when the yellow light plunges into darkness.

I am the other picking the perfect slant of light that will force entry
through the nine doors of my body. I am all that is left when you leave.
I would rather believe you never passed by.

Photo: Graham Holliday